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Unsure about my life goals


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3 things have always been constant for me:

1. I love stories, media, art, songs and such, and can easily spend all day consuming or writing them.

2. My female DNA donor believes that all arts are dying industries, and those "not productive" to society should kill themselves.

3. I can pick up STEM very easily, but find it boring.


Because of all these things, I've always had trouble getting motivated. Even in first grade, I had trouble doing the easiest of assignments that would take minimal effort just because I wasn't at all interested. This has only gotten worse as time has gone on. In 2nd grade, I wanted to make comics, and I dreamed to grow up to be a writer for a movie. Over time, that has eroded away, and I'm stuck in a very good technology high school, and I'm about to make my applications to a bunch of computer science colleges.


I just have this nagging voice at the back of my head telling me this isn't what I want to do with my life. It tells me this for every assignment I do. The only time I'm free of this voice is when I hang out with friends, or when I'm drawing.


I picked up drawing last year by meeting some kids in my AP Calc class, and we messed around for the most part. However, almost 3 months ago, I started taking drawing seriously and self-taught myself using online tutorials, and I'm now an active member of my school's art club. I've even met someone who runs a webcomic and I plan on contacting them further so that I might be able to run my own.


It's the month of college admissions, and I'm completely stuck on my college essays, which are due in less than 24 hours, and every cell in my body is screaming "don't do it!" I don't know anymore. I've trained my whole life to be a computer programmer, so I don't know if I even have the ability to pursue art. However, I don't know if I can be a programmer either, because I don't even have the work ethic to complete assignments in easy classes, let alone my college admissions.


Even worse is the crushing expectations from both well meaning and the not well meaning people in my life. I scored extremely high on the SAT and ACT, and I'm even a national merit semifinalist, so my whole 2000 ish highschool knows my face and name as one of the smartest kids in a nerd school. All my counselors and friends expect nothing but the best from me. My mom is also a massive verbal bully.


I don't want to be a programmer but I also don't want to fail. I'm so indecisive and I don't have much time. This is the worst possible time for me to finally realize why I can't motivate myself all the time. What do I do?

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Hi there,

First off, I'm a firm believer that the arts industry is not a waste of time, it isn't a bad life, and it is a way to make a living. So many people think being in the art industry (whether it's comics, writing, tv show writing, film writing, directing, being an artist, photography, what ever) is not a good job to have to make a living. That isn't true. It's difficult, and can be challenging, but it's doable.


My dad loves photography. He did art in school and photography at university. He adores it. But guess what? He works in a supermarket full time. He absolutely hates it to the core. But when he isn't there, he tries to edit photos when he can, he goes to gigs and concerts and takes live band shots, he goes to the forest and takes photos, he takes photos of weddings and does street photography. Sure, he isn't in the best position, all he wants to do is photography for a living, but he's going for it.


Although this probably isn't the best example, my point is, even if you do end up in a job you're not that interested in, use it to get the money you need, stabilise yourself, then start working on bringing your hobby to life. Buy those pens, buy that camera, talk to those comic companies, start up an Instagram page and post your art, start commissions, go for it!


Alternatively, you make a massive change and follow your instincts. I don't know the details of your current situation, but you could drop your course, transfer to an art course, you could finish this course and go to university but study an art course. I'm not sure, it depends on what is available to you.

You could also maybe look into writing a book/tv or movie script/creating a comic. I study Geography at university currently, but I love art, so I run an Instagram account where I do commissions alongside my geography work.


But know this at least: the arts industry is not a waste of time, you can live off it, and it is not a dying industry. I hope this helps in some way? This message is all over the place haha. Let me know if you need anymore support :)

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