Ok so I've read tonns of threads here about this subject but I really need some advice from the good folks on here regarding my own particular situation and the options that I believe are open to me....
So my problem? The classic dilemma many young people face- the battle between the need for financial stability and a desire to follow one's 'true calling' in life, and whether these two things can co-exist.
After completing my A-levels a few years back, I decided that instead of going to uni, I would take a part-time college course in sound engineering because I had started playing in bands and was by now completely in love with music and in my blissfully ignorant (and stoned) state I presumed that it was easy to find a job in this field (I know, I know
[this is becoming a really cathartic essay/life story and I apologise!]
In the two years between then and now, I have undeniably learnt a lot about sound and recording, and I truly love and appreciate music more than ever, but in all honesty, I have also developed some bad habits/mental issues -I reckon depression/social anxiety- which I am only just coming to terms with and trying to overcome (too much weed = no fun). Yes I'm an idiot, but sometimes things just seem so bleak and to top it off, the college I am at has been a revolving door of different teachers who either disappear or are sacked. Also, the work is often uninspiring, and lacking in practical applications of all the theory we seem to cover.
Despite this, the college studios are well kitted out although we rarely get to record in them during lesson times (
So anyway, I am currently working part time in a food store and I have one more year left of my BTEC course should I choose to stay on after this summer. Alternatively, I have been offered a place on the same college's foundation degree in 'Creative Sound Technology' beginning in september and going on for another two years, plus one final year in a top-up degree of my choice (electronics maybe?). This course claims to be geared around making the transition into the music industry and finding work.
However, the notion of continuing down the academic route in regards to audio seems pointless to me now, or at least not without being backed up by out of college, work-based experience which I've found hard to come by (partly due to my own lack of productivity). Here are my options as I see them:
1) stop studying audio altogether, get a full time job I hate, but use the money to build a sick home studio where I can compose my own music and record other peoples as a hobby.
2) stop studying audio and start studying something with more job prospects which I still enjoy to an extent (despite the angsty drivel you're reading now, I've always enjoyed english and writing) perhaps that?
3) take the foundation degree and work my arse off to find a related part-time job in a crappy local venue or studio at the same time, and try ignore my nagging doubts about it all being in vain when it comes to finding a steady income.
4) stay on the BTEC for one more year, simply because it means I have free access to several high-end studios which I can use for anything I wish out of lesson hours, and hope that I can bring in enough bands in the evenings to hone my own skills and network/build a reputation. when the BTEC finishes, I then decide what to do next.
5) leave education, and take a year out to properly focus on and tackle my personal issues which seem to be affecting my whole life, before making any big decisions such as dedicating myself to years of education.
To conclude this boring, self-obsessed and embarrassingly-pitiful post, I will say that I'm thinking I should go with 5 but I'm just scared that my 'year out' will quickly become a slippery slope towards giving up on what I enjoy and instead settling with 9-5 mediocrity.
I understand that I have to do what I love and if I truly apply myself, anything can be achieved. Life is after all a self-fulfilling prophecy and many have it worse than me. But in truth, I just feel a mess right now and I'm not even sure what I want anymore. Even writing my own songs has become a frustrating and horrible experience and that is something which I thought I would always have. Deep down, it’s what I live for.
I almost didn't post this out of embarrassment but just typing it has helped. I'm not normally so whiney and depressed, I promise!
So, er yeah.... help?