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09:23 PM on 09/16/12 
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corrupt_rocker
the body. the breath. the beat.
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Jersey
Female
The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things in life like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people in life recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies, know more today about the world than I knew yesterday. And lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you." ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

Awesome quote.
09:29 PM on 09/16/12 
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corrupt_rocker
the body. the breath. the beat.
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Jersey
Female
Here's the thing I can tell you for sure: if you have a passion, you're a fool not to follow it. Right now, everything sucks for pretty much everyone. Money's tight, degrees mean next to nothing, no one wants to take a risk on anyone or anything and none of that's changing anytime soon. You can spend years in school running up a tab you can never escape (trust me, you can't just stop answering their calls) or you can start working. Do ANYTHING you can to make just enough for food, rent, car insurance, internet and an Xbox Live connection (for that honey-sweet Netflix action) and spend the rest of your time running down a dream, man. It sounds idealistic but it's more possible now than ever. You won't have the money for vacations or nice clothes or fancy dinners - and keep it wrapped like the fuckin' truth about Roswell, 'cause forget starting a family - but you don't need that shit right now. You're figuring YOURSELF out. That's important.

I just turned 26 and still don't know what my life is. I go to bed at, like, ten most nights. I haven't had a desk job in three years. I live 3,000 miles from my family and (most of) my friends working odd jobs and spending every other moment writing, re-writing, writing, re-writing and re-writing. I've written four (un-produced) screenplays, directed a dozen music videos and developed shows for (ugh) MTV. I've been paid next to nothing and loved about 80% of it with all my heart. The other 20% makes me want to eat Draino muffins, but I've worked hose crew at an amusement park - it's gonna have to get a little worse than that before I stop.

TL;DR Do what you love and fuck the rest. Nothing keeps a fire under your ass like having nothing to fall back on.

I couldn't agree more. Kudos to you for doing what makes you happy.
09:47 PM on 09/16/12 
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Sean Rizzo
Can you see evidence of perfection?
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Male - 24 Years Old
Join the club. I'm 23 with a useless business degree because I don't want to work in an office for 40 hours a week. All the work that I enjoy (music, film, writing, photography, videography) I do for free because I can't find paying jobs. So until I do, I'm working part time doing tedious work and some random side gigs.
Welcome to my life, haha. No degrees yet though. I want to get into psychology. I might do that or be a social worker since I love working with people. In all honesty if I didn't have to work a day in my life and could just be with my girlfriend I would totally just do that and be happy with it haha.
10:51 PM on 09/16/12 
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upthepunx
Regular Member
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San Diego, CA
Male - 25 Years Old
start stripping
10:53 PM on 09/16/12 
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ari telescope
kitties
ari telescope's Avatar
Southern California
Female - 27 Years Old
fuck yeah NU

anyway, you're 20. you're supposed to have no idea what you're doing with your life. have fun, explore, and learn.

I wish parents and teachers would tell us things like that in high school instead of pushing all the kids to enroll in college right after summer.
01:02 AM on 09/17/12 
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allthewaysaid
Have a feeling I'll die in my20s...
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Texas
Male - 23 Years Old
Well, when I'm twenty, I see myself at Northeastern working on a degree in engineering, and maybe playing some gigs on bass clarinet on the side.

I'm no expert on the topic, but I think seeing as you're twenty, you still have a little time to think about what you want. It's okay to find out later than others. It's a personal thing.

Awh, you're 16. Das cute.
02:08 AM on 09/17/12 
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Less Than Mike
Happiness is just a moment.
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Sydney, Australia
Male - 23 Years Old
Another 20 year old here. About to enter the 4th and final year of my business double degree. I work 2 jobs and AP is essentially the most socializing I get to do with people roughly my age (how sad is that?). Soon or later you will find something you enjoy. Like many people the 40 hour office weeks weren't all they cracked up to be so I got a job with a children's charity. Best decision of my life. Try new things is pretty much the only advice I can give to those who feel they are directionless.
02:30 AM on 09/17/12 
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xxemo_kittyxx
meow.
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Brisbane, Australia
Female - 24 Years Old
If one thing ive learnt so far, is that if you truly want something just go for it. While other people are asleep get shit done. While
your mates are out drinking, get shit done. I have spent the last 4 years working jobs that require 60+ hour weeks and was still coming home and mixing music every single night and all weekend. While my mates were out drinking, i was at home working. Because of that work ethic i have now scored a job working for one of the best post production houses in the world. All it takes to make your dreams happen is to not give up and work harder than every single other person out there. There will always be people more talented and better at the job than you, but good work ethic will always play in your favour. If you find what you want to do then just do it, you are the only one holding you back. So make no excuses, if you have found something that you love then work harder than everyone else out there and you will come out on top. If you want to be a musician then work to pay the bills and then come home and play your instrument. Dont spend 3 hours playing xbox a night if you want to be a musician, play 3 hours of guitar each night instead. While everyone else is asleep, get shit done. Thats just my 2 cents anyway.

Some really good advice here, you made my day bro :)
03:35 AM on 09/17/12 
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deanster321
Ded
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Huddersfield, UK
Male - 23 Years Old
I turned 21 in July. I didn't go to university straight out of school for various reasons and I'm not sure if I really intend to anymore. In that time I've worked as much as possible, built up a pretty good cv and am getting offered good jobs now, and I have a couple of hobbies and creative pursuits that I involve myself in where possible. I really, REALLY struggled at first but at this juncture I'd say I'm doing pretty well.
06:16 AM on 09/17/12 
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EndSerenading
we were born for battle
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NC/SC
Male - 30 Years Old
I am 27 currently so I was here not too long ago. The best advice I can give is that you shouldn't always feel like you are wasting your life by working an "office job." Not everyone in the world can support themselves with the arts and there is nothing wrong with working the dreaded "office job". However, the important thing is that this doesn't mean you still can't make art and follow your passions. I took a path that made a lot of sense to me.

I went to college to get an engineering degree because I knew engineering will always be in demand. I graduated right at the start of the recession and still got an engineering job and have stayed employe the whole time. Now, my passions are all creativity-related: music, interior design, architecture, movies, writing, etc. Working has allowed me the freedom to work on those kinds of projects without worrying about money. I go to work Mon-Thurs (I'm lucky I have most Fridays off) and I work on my passions outside of that. I'm a guitar player in Called To Arms (maybe a few people here have heard of us?) and we have been able to stay together for years and put out a few different records all on-the-side since all of the members work normal jobs. I still write and I also do some interior design stuff on the side as well.

Even though I work an office job in a cubicle I still have passions and I pursue them all the time. I worked hard in school to get a job that pays great and gives me the freedom to work on whatever I want to when I'm not at work. I can buy gear I'd like to have, I can take vacation so that I am still getting paid while I spend a few weeks in a studio recording, etc. I think this is an option more young people should consider. Too many people feel like it has to be one or the other when a lot of the time a hybrid is the sometimes the best of both worlds.
06:46 AM on 09/17/12 
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Randall Mentzos
Terrain / Ryan
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Baltimore, MD
Male - 24 Years Old
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I am 27 currently so I was here not too long ago. The best advice I can give is that you shouldn't always feel like you are wasting your life by working an "office job." Not everyone in the world can support themselves with the arts and there is nothing wrong with working the dreaded "office job". However, the important thing is that this doesn't mean you still can't make art and follow your passions. I took a path that made a lot of sense to me.

I went to college to get an engineering degree because I knew engineering will always be in demand. I graduated right at the start of the recession and still got an engineering job and have stayed employe the whole time. Now, my passions are all creativity-related: music, interior design, architecture, movies, writing, etc. Working has allowed me the freedom to work on those kinds of projects without worrying about money. I go to work Mon-Thurs (I'm lucky I have most Fridays off) and I work on my passions outside of that. I'm a guitar player in Called To Arms (maybe a few people here have heard of us?) and we have been able to stay together for years and put out a few different records all on-the-side since all of the members work normal jobs. I still write and I also do some interior design stuff on the side as well.

Even though I work an office job in a cubicle I still have passions and I pursue them all the time. I worked hard in school to get a job that pays great and gives me the freedom to work on whatever I want to when I'm not at work. I can buy gear I'd like to have, I can take vacation so that I am still getting paid while I spend a few weeks in a studio recording, etc. I think this is an option more young people should consider. Too many people feel like it has to be one or the other when a lot of the time a hybrid is the sometimes the best of both worlds.

the hybrid approach is not practical if your ambition is to become a touring artist. most jobs, you cant just leave for a 2 or 3 month tour and expect to have your job when you come back.
06:56 AM on 09/17/12 
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EndSerenading
we were born for battle
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NC/SC
Male - 30 Years Old
the hybrid approach is not practical if your ambition is to become a touring artist. most jobs, you cant just leave for a 2 or 3 month tour and expect to have your job when you come back.

Well obviously that is definitely true, but not everyone is going to be a touring artist. I just mean that it doesn't always have to be black or white as far as 100% cubicle drone or 100% artist life. If you're goal is to be a CEO and it is a realistic goal then you're probably going to have to go more of the work-all-the-time approach. If you're goal is to be a successful, career touring artist and it is a realistic goal then you're probably going to have to make the call at some point if you are going to put all of your effort into that.

I spent the majority of my time outside of class in college playing shows and while I loved playing shows and doing small tours when school wasn't in session, when graduation time came in 2007 we all kind of talked to decide where we were going from there. The majority of the band decided that we were OK moving on pursuing professional jobs and doing the band on the side. We could still get a large amount of satisfaction from being a musician but also have more stable lives. Consequently it worked out fine for us as we put out what I consider our best album by a landslide in 2010 (certainly our best received), 3 years after we were all working more standard jobs.

Obviously not everyone would be content with that, but I feel that it is a very viable option for a lot of people. You don't have to completely give up all your passions the second you start working at an office. It's a big misconception that I feel like a lot of young people have. Certainly I'm a huge music fan and a big supporter of the arts in general, so I'm not trying to scare people away from creative endeavors, I just feel like a lot of younger creative people feel the pressure to choose.

I know I had a huge internal struggle with this my senior year in college. We had the opportunity to sign with some well-known labels if we went full-time with the band or I had the opportunity to take a great engineering job and I really struggled with the choice when the band voted. For me personally, I made the right decision.
07:03 AM on 09/17/12 
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Randall Mentzos
Terrain / Ryan
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Baltimore, MD
Male - 24 Years Old
Verified
I know!! I'm sorry, I posted before seeing that, I was going back to delete it because you answered it all.

I totally agree though. I was in the same boat when I started fresh out if high school, but luckily I went to a community college so it was easier and cheaper to drop out when I realized how bullshit it is. I'm still in business, at work, and honestly I don't hate it. But the point is, it's not something I want to waste my time on studying when I've seen firsthand how pointless it is (even working with coworkers who aren't using their degrees) and it just looks good on a resume. I am studying to get a degree in something more creative though.

If I can just point out, it is nice paying the bills to front your music goals. I am not a big-business girl and neither are a lot of my coworkers, and as long as you can find a company that isn't motivated by Satanistic morals and goals it's not the worst thing in the world having a steady schedule to use to your hobby's advantage.

Edit: nevermind, I should know should'ves dont help. I just think its never too late to go back for a degree that will pay off (every friend with a degree in something music related has paid off). Just never let it go! Plus having two degrees, one in music and one in business can get you even more places, if you want to work on tours or in a studio. I think two of my music-business friends actually only got their associates and they're all over the place now.

i'd have a much better experience with this kind of education if i went to a school like Full Sail. University of Maryland's degrees in music are strictly performance and theory based -- you can maybe become a member of an orchestra if you're really good, or teach music. im not too interested in the music business either because i feel i would get jaded by the label keeping around shitty music if it's profitable and dropping great music that isn't profitable. it's kind of one of those things where if i had more leeway to decide what and when i wanted to study, then maybe i'd be in a much better situation.
07:15 AM on 09/17/12 
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Randall Mentzos
Terrain / Ryan
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Baltimore, MD
Male - 24 Years Old
Verified
Well obviously that is definitely true, but not everyone is going to be a touring artist. I just mean that it doesn't always have to be black or white as far as 100% cubicle drone or 100% artist life. If you're goal is to be a CEO and it is a realistic goal then you're probably going to have to go more of the work-all-the-time approach. If you're goal is to be a successful, career touring artist and it is a realistic goal then you're probably going to have to make the call at some point if you are going to put all of your effort into that.

I spent the majority of my time outside of class in college playing shows and while I loved playing shows and doing small tours when school wasn't in session, when graduation time came in 2007 we all kind of talked to decide where we were going from there. The majority of the band decided that we were OK moving on pursuing professional jobs and doing the band on the side. We could still get a large amount of satisfaction from being a musician but also have more stable lives. Consequently it worked out fine for us as we put out what I consider our best album by a landslide in 2010 (certainly our best received), 3 years after we were all working more standard jobs.

Obviously not everyone would be content with that, but I feel that it is a very viable option for a lot of people. You don't have to completely give up all your passions the second you start working at an office. It's a big misconception that I feel like a lot of young people have. Certainly I'm a huge music fan and a big supporter of the arts in general, so I'm not trying to scare people away from creative endeavors, I just feel like a lot of younger creative people feel the pressure to choose.

I know I had a huge internal struggle with this my senior year in college. We had the opportunity to sign with some well-known labels if we went full-time with the band or I had the opportunity to take a great engineering job and I really struggled with the choice when the band voted. For me personally, I made the right decision.

yeah, i just am completely enamored with the idea of having a job with the autonomy, variety of routine, variety of process, and self-established goals and standards that a touring music career has to offer. i like the idea of being able to be myself "at my job" rather than filtering out all the casual (i.e. comfortable) aspects of my personality 8 hours a day. i loooooove the idea of seeing a new city every day. and most of all i want my full time job to be something i already want to work hard at even without getting paid, that's the straightest path to true fulfillment in my opinion -- just to do what i already do, and get paid for it.
10:49 AM on 09/17/12 
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MattADALIE
ADALIE (www.facebook.com/adaliepa)
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Philadelphia, PA
Male - 28 Years Old
I turned 25 years old this year, and although I often over-think about the future due to uncertainties in the economy and the world as a whole, I think I'm working my way into a formula that works best for me to keep me happy at all angles. Firstly, I've been playing music in bands with my brother for the past ten years and that hasn't slowed down, despite occasional financial hardships and setbacks concerning goals (we love what we do so we still do it anyway, despite the lack of financial incentive). Secondly, since I was 17 years old, I have been working full-time at various kinds of jobs (foodservice, customer service, administrative duties, insurance, blue collar union labor, photography, communications, and more) to help keep my resume full and diversified. Despite working and playing music, I chipped away at a community college in my spare time to earn two Associate's Degrees (one is a typical Liberal Arts degree and the second one awarded was for Social & Behavioral Science). Since I don't wish to double my debt load by jumping back into a traditional four-year university to complete a Bachelor's Degree (I started off at Temple University, dropped, and then re-ignited my education path by enrolling at Community College of Philadelphia a few years later), I have decided to risk $2000-3000 instead of $20,000-30,000 by returning to CCP in the spring to pursue a ArcGIS certification which could help me get into fields such as environmental science, engineering, and all sorts of other industries since ArcGIS is a global database platform. I'm hoping to land an entry-level GIS-related job and move my way up the ranks one step at a time, hopefully in the environmental science world.

In the meantime, I'm barely clearing $30K per year (trust me, by today's standards, this annual income is almost useless) working an administrative job for a deteriorating publishing company. Since it's a Monday-through-Friday "9 to 5" gig, I have the free time to still pursue my creative goals while being able to pay my bills and knock out debt. My brother and I have recently purchased the rest of the studio equipment we need to self-produce our own work outside of our band, Adalie, and I'm hoping to be able to provide drum lessons or help produce local artists' records in my spare time to make that needed extra cash to pay off debts I owe more expediently.

In today's world of uncertainties, it's best to strike a balance between what is practical and what will make you happy in your spare time. At 20 (like you are), I DREAMED of being able to do what I do someday and that is slowly becoming a reality.

If you're not the creative, artistic type and want to make a lot of money, go that route if it makes you happy.

Now, if you're looking for a balance that will make you happy in multiple aspects of your life, get started before you're burdened with family responsibilities and the like.

Hope this helps!



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