Well, today was the big day. The first day of the rest of my life. The first day of my post graduate degree. The first day of my career in film. The first day I’ve felt like a Kindergartener in 20 years.
Yep, I felt like a Kindergartener. I guess there is no way to avoid the whole first day of class feeling, or the activities associated with it. I mean, I went to my campus, met my programme leader, met some other film and screenwriting students. Then we were introduced to the rest of the faculty. Then we were introduced to the librarian. Then we were ushered around the film making facilities. Then we were ushered around the main computer lab on campus where they showed us how to log into our student accounts and access our student email. I’m sure you’ve got the picture.
I felt so guided my brain seriously turned off and I probably became a little stupider. Because I actually had to start reading all of the instructions. So…there’s something about educational psychology in all of that. I am sure that there were some students out there that really needed the help. And I’m guessing that handing everything to everyone makes it move a lot faster with a lot less mistakes. But. We are college students.
However, after all of that ridiculousness, we had a career goal workshop. They had us envision our graduation day:
- What are the things you don’t want to leave here without doing?
- What do you want to say you’ve accomplished by graduation?
- What advice would you give to new students as you are graduating?
- What are the things you’ll have struggled with the most in this programme?
These questions really made me think. What are things I wish I’d done differently in my undergrad? How can I make sure those things change and I don’t make the same mistakes? How do I build a legacy, so to speak?
We also wrote down some skills/assets we know we need to work on to be successful in this career field. We had to rate them according to how much work we’ll need on them, then rank them according to importance in shaping our careers. Then we had to take the one with the highest score in both areas and make is a SMART goal:
Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Timebound
My personal goal was to make contacts in every area of pre- and -post-production to have a divers network. Networking is something that I don’t particularly enjoy. I could be quite good at it, as I’m fairly good at remembering names and keeping stories straight. It’s just the initiation and the upkeep that I don’t like, but my career will die right out without it. So I’m taking the plunge.
- We are told SOO many times to be yourself, be different. You should be yourself because everyone else is taken. Blah, blah, blah. But Be Excellent. Be Excellent. Being different isn’t enough. You could be different by finding a really unusual way to be a vegetable, like wearing a top hat while you lounge about and waste your life (at least you had class while you squandered your existence). But being excellent, that requires work.
- Which brings me to my next point. I love that they bolded the “do” in “standout.” You’re not going to stand out without taking action. In my last writers’ group, I was always complimenting the other writers on their use of verbs. Partly because verb use is one of my biggest weaknesses in writing. But also because actions speak louder than words. Words measure what a person wants to be, actions measure what they actually are (I saw something like that on Pinterest today). We must DO in order to BECOME. And I want to BECOME EXCELLENT.
Go grad school. I’m ready for you.