For elementary school I attended a challenging institution named after a paragon of American literature where I learned 1 or 2 grades above my level (along with my peers, of course).
I was graciously accepted into one of the top three schools in the city of Chicago--this includes private, public, and charter schools--for middle school and I stayed through high school. There I took more classes above my level in the 7th and 8th grades and by the time my freshman year started I was learning with juniors and seniors, and occasionally I'd end up with one or two other exceptional students in my year. Instead of graduating early with the amount of credits required achieved, I stayed through my senior year. Lucky that, because I took my first digital animation class. I was on my way to being a professional artist!
For undergrad I attended Arizona State, which some of my AP teachers were not so happy with, but I was a student in the honors college there all 4 years. That makes it better, right? I got to travel the world a little when I was 20. Made awesome friends, breezed through my pre-reqs, and learned a little about a lot that I didn't need. After fighting my way through an art program that barely taught me my focus, I graduated! Mandatory functional education complete. But what the hell am I gonna do with a crappy portfolio, limited job skills, and big dreams???
Go back to school, of course. This time to actually learn the tools of the digital trade. This was the hardest part of education for me, partially because it was for a Master's degree, but more so because I've now realized how lazy of a student I am and I've identified what I had to do to get by and do "well enough." I cared about VFX and animation, and I still do, but I think I was burning out. I had been riding the education challenge for years and I just wanted to be done with this and do what I want in life. Now I am done, yay! I have my second college degree and, again, no work experience, a couple of internships that I really do think failed to prepare me for what companies are looking for, and bills and debt and expenses that I cannot just ignore to take an unpaid gig, and learn. more.
So what now?
- Move back in with my parents rent free so I can work a different crappy part time job and gain experience at an unpaid gig? (this would include moving away from Chris, and enduring horrid winters in a locale where The Industry isn't as strong)
- Dump Chris, find a sugar daddy and then do the unpaid internship route and work my way up the career food chain?
- Take time off from my life pursuit, get a better paying receptionist job to save up money and then try the unpaid internship route in a few years?