Keeping it Reel

How to Convince Your Parents “the Arts” aren’t a Bad Idea

When I was a senior in high school, all I wanted to do was write. I wanted to write plays, novels, short stories, everything really, but when it came time to make my decision, I went into business. Why? Well, the entirety of my senior year my parents, teachers, and family members (minus a few encouraging individuals) told me that I should go into something more stable; something that would bring in money and give me a little security.

I went to college and didn’t like what I was studying, and as I result, (upon graduating) I made my career in something that had nothing to with my degree. Writing.
the office season 1 the office pilot gifI know that right now, thousands of High School seniors are dealing with a similar problem. They want to pursue acting, directing, cinematography, or some other kind of art, but there are people in their lives giving them advice that points in another direction entirely.

Now, I am not here to tell you that you should take their advice and throw it out the window; a lot of the guidance you are receiving is probably great, however, if you are resolute on what you want to pursue, take a look at the five points below. You can discuss these things with your parents and others to convince them that you aren’t making a mistake in choosing the arts.

1. No Major Guarantees a Career

Something that people often say when they don’t agree with your major choice is that another major or field would give you a better chance at a job. And they may be right. Some areas have more openings and offer higher pay. The thing to remember, however, is that no field guarantees a job. In fact, recent research shows that only 27% of college graduates are working in a job that even relates to their major.  Making the decision to go to law school doesn’t make you a lawyer. On top of that, being a lawyer doesn’t mean you are a successful lawyer.

You might end up a hobo on the side of the street if you pursue acting, but the same can be said for bio-engineering. The major you choose isn’t indicative of whether or not you’ll have financial security in the future. No major can guarantee you a career.

                                                                                               via GIPHY

2. You Work Hard When You Do What You Love

An argument to make after bringing up this first point is that you will most likely work harder at something you are passionate about versus something you are not. If you work incredibly hard in the field you want to go into, you are bound to find some kind of work that is at least related to what you want to do. But if you go into something you don’t care much about, what’s pushing you forward? What is driving you towards success? What is there to keep you working hard at school and to push you to find a great career? Well, not much.

Many people who could be brilliant artists end up becoming mediocre businessmen or accountants, because they don’t love what they do. Passion is a driving motivational force, and not one that should be cast aside without careful consideration.

3. Money and Success Aren’t Synonymous

Happiness should be everyone’s end goal in life. I know it sounds a little “kumbaya,” but if you aren’t aiming to be happy, what are you aiming to be? Most of the individuals in your life that are encouraging you to choose something you don’t want to are probably trying to look out for your happiness. They want you to have enough money to support the lifestyle you want. They don’t want to see you struggle to make ends meet. But if you are doing what you love, and you are happy with it, it shouldn’t matter to anyone how much you make. Happiness = Success, not money.


4. “You’ll Never Get a Job in That”

The field in which you want to study might have a lot more career opportunities than people realize. The arts are taboo when it comes to discussions of wealth, but there are a lot of things you can do with degrees in things like editing, directing, and acting. Just take a look at our post, “8 Skills You’ll Learn While Studying Acting .” A lot of majors that people consider “useless” actually teach a plethora of valuable skills and can lead to incredible job opportunities.


5. You’re paying for it; you should make the decision

This isn’t applicable to everyone out there, but I know many reading this will be responsible for paying off their student loans themselves. If you are one of these people, the decision on what you study in college is ultimately yours. If you are the one paying for it, you should be happy with what you are purchasing.


Not so fast…

Here is the part where I make you mad. I think it is necessary to point out that you shouldn’t entirely discount the advice you are given. Your parents could be right about what you want to pursue. They might have a lot of valid points that I couldn’t possibly speak into in this blog post. Most of all, they are probably looking out for your best interest. And unlike me, they know your particular situation

This blog is a collaborative effort by CCH staff and administration who want to share their knowledge with the film school community and prospective students.

Columbia College Hollywood is excited to announce TWO new scholarships! Receive awards of up to $5,000 for the 2021 Summer Scholarship for Storytellers and up to $18,950 for the CCH Career Accelerator Scholarship.

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