We had on-and-off thunderstorms all weekend so I really didn’t get out to do much. I wanted to, but every time I planned to go out it would start raining, then get sunny, then rain…bleh!
I was going through old Livejournal entries for a while on Saturday. A friend of my friend who passed away (that I mentioned in a previous entry) is putting together a memory book, so I thought I’d be able to find some memories or events I had written about way back in there. Unfortunately I didn’t find much (most entries were dedicated to Shawn…and not all good things. eek), but it was really weird to read the things I wrote back in my freshman and sophomore year. I wrote so much. Almost everyday. Even if it was just a couple lines or something. I miss that. Well…I miss everything about that time (for the most part). I’m glad I kept a journal, even if it was an online one, to look back on. I wonder if I’ll look back on this blog 5 years from now. I’ll probably be annoyed with my former self for not updating very often, though I can’t imagine having a whole lot of nostalgia for this time in my life. Not that its a particular unhappy time…its just so…unchanging. I feel like I’m dangling in the air and waiting until I get to the “next step”, whatever that may be. But then again I don’t like change, so make sense of that haha.
But thinking about school made me want to look up possible options for Masters degrees again. I actually found a program that I may be interested in that’s offered by the University of Florida. Its completely online (obviously, since I’m not re-locating to FL) in Mass Communication with a specialization in Web Design/Online Communication. Its one of the only programs I’ve found that fits what I’m interested in that is from an actual university as opposed to those somewhat shady diploma-mill type of schools. I’ll have to do some more research into what skills I would get out of it and time requirements and such, and obviously will need to take the GRE at some point, but its good to have an option at least. Shawn thinks I could probably just learn everything I’d want to know from books or online instead of spending money on a Masters, but I just don’t have any discipline for that. I need something structured. I mean…my poor guitar has been sitting there for like 3 weeks now because I obviously have no self-discipline to practice regularly. lol! What are your thoughts? Waste/not a waste? It is a lot of money (that I can’t say I have). Hm.
I’m pretty excited about the vacation day I took on Friday and going to the beach with Shawn’s family. I don’t think I’ve taken a vacation day since…last September? Crazy. I mean…I’m somewhat excited that I took a half day on Wednesday to go to the dentist, just because its something different. How sad is that?? I’m sure that sentiment will be immediately forgotten when I’m actually sitting in the dentist chair with various metal objects poking my mouth.
I was never a LiveJournal girl, but I did have a Blogspot that I wrote in nearly everyday my senior year of high school until March (college application time). I had entries prior to that as well, but curiosity killed the cat, and all of those entries. I have only a few drafts here and there from those times. I entered college and nearly stopped writing altogether (as you can attest to, no doubt).
I definitely understand how you feel about “dangling in the air.” I didn’t think turning 25 would be such a big deal, but when I started thinking in the mindset “Holy cow, I only have 3/4ths of a century left (if I’m lucky) to accomplish something!” everything I’ve ever done seemed so feel so meaningless. That sad Five for Fighting song, “100 Years” played in my head over and over again. I started to compare myself to other people, and feeling all around like a talentless hack. Big mistake. I’m in better spirits now, and taking the time to figure out what it is I really want, to live in the now, but also plan ahead… not lamenting the past.
One of the blessings of our industry (web design) is that it’s still very much acceptable and possible, at least for the time being, to make it without advanced degrees. All it takes is the ability to demonstrate your talent (which you are definitely working toward with this website and your portfolio). Another blessing is that there are so many alternative education opportunities, especially if you live in or near one of the budding start up hubs. I have no idea where you live anymore, but to give you an example, there’s things like The Flatiron School, Code Year, Girl Develop It, Hungry Academy, Udacity, Hacker School, etc. Assuming you still live in Greater Philly, there are options there as well. MeetUp and SkillShare also provide a gateway to these sort of opportunities.
I am so excited to work in an industry that is challenging the norms of education. I think going to one of the Big Wigs would be somewhat wasteful, especially since they don’t tend to do a great job of keeping up with the breakneck pace of change that is inherent to the web. Is it just the grades that motivate you in a class environment or just the act of putting the money down? Think about what motivates you, and how you can change that. Maybe paying for a guitar class would help you pick it up again! You need to feel that you are at a loss otherwise you won’t practice.
This long comment is evidence I need to write again… Hope these insights are helpful!
Thanks so much for your comment, Asia! Its definitely helpful and insightful to hear an opinion from someone in the industry 🙂 You’re probably right in the sense that a larger university isn’t able to keep up the pace of the industry (I can even attest to it from going to Temple where I’m pretty sure we had to learn how to record on analog tape decks in a class called “Digital Audio”…o_o). I think the main motivation, though, is the degree itself as I feel it may prove useful if I were to want to work for a more traditional company, or just anywhere where a Masters may be required or give me a leg up (a lot of positions seem to require them nowadays, regardless of if they’re useful or not for the position which I’d imagine they aren’t). I guess I was/am more-so wanting a Masters, and then working from there to find programs that fit my interests which may not be the best method haha
However, I am definitely going to look into the websites you suggested! After a quick Google of them, I can see that many of the programs are things I would be interested in and that could be beneficial. Is there a particular one out of those that you have experience with or suggest? Still in Philly btw =p
And the guitar thing is mostly a time issue…between working, making dinner, working out, showering, cleaning, making lunch for the next day…I just feel like doing absolutely nothing at the end of the day. bleh! I have no excuse on the weekends though!
And yes you should start blogging again!! =) And wow my comment is way long too…
Wow… analog tapes? Digital audio? You’d think they’d at least have you working with MIDIs. I understand what you mean by the degree. It’s unfortunate we live in this society that values that more than actual ability sometimes. I seem to remember a specific website in Philly. I’ll look into it and get back to you! Working on relaunching the blog today, just to get something up.
I don’t feel like education is ever “wasted” but I’m currently working full-time and not really using either of my degrees. And I’m still paying off my student loans. And that sucks, lol. If there are other options available that will ultimately provide you with the same advantages as the degree I would explore those fully.
Thanks for your comment, Sara! I’m in the same boat pretty much, though I’m SO close to having my loan paid off!
Had no idea you were blogging again…I’ll make sure to follow your blog! =)