And Creative Crossover You Might Not Have Thought Of

I’ve been wanting to address this topic for a while. This may be more of a rant than a post, and I apologize in advance. Ever since I joined a Facebook group for college parents, it’s been on my mind. My son is a “rising” high school senior now, and I’ve been a part of this group since we started the college application process after winter break this school year. This week is his final exam week, so he’s focused on that. But another thing he’ll be focusing on in the coming months and into the next school year is what he wants to do for a career, and how he’ll get there. Whether that’s college or trade school or something else, ‘the future is now.’ Excuse me while I have a quick cry that my little boy is a young man about to enter another phase of his life.

My son’s college prep private Catholic high school has been low-key preparing him for college since his first day of his freshman year. They kicked it into high gear once they got back from winter break this year, and he’s been doing things like researching schools and making his top choices list, securing a teacher recommendation, and giving more details about himself and his school career to the college counselor so she can write a well-informed recommendation of her own.

I’m off track here, though. His school packs in the state requirements for graduation – like PE, health, speech, and two years of foreign language into the first two years of school, with very little wiggle room for exploring anything beyond academic requirements. With many of the requirements loaded into his freshman year, when he hit his sophomore year he had room to explore interests, and hit the jackpot almost right away with the Broadcast Journalism class. It spoke to his technical and creative sides – he’s had his own YouTube channel for several years, knows how to edit audio and video and can do so with multiple programs. He had originally picked another elective to move on to, but the teacher extended the opportunity for him to re-enroll for the second semester. He took it, and was immediately named lead editor for the school news broadcast.

He took a break from it the first semester of this year, but was right back at it second semester, even helping to edit a documentary-style feature on the school basketball team and their journey to a potential state championship, with that feature being screened at a local movie theater!

His creative side really shines. But according to many parents in this Facebook group, creative is not the way to go in college. They’re all worried about debt (rightfully so), and the ability for their child to secure a job by graduation. They’re encouraging their children to pick ‘high paying’ majors that will supposedly have them making good money with their first job. The only problem with that is that they’re looking at median salaries, or top salaries in those fields. When, exactly, will they start making the median or top dollar amounts?

What you major in isn’t all about how much money can be made. Yes, having the money and the means to afford a decent car, good housing, plenty of food, and be able to pay all the bills on your own is what everyone wants. But are you happy enough to want to go to work every day and do that job for the rest of your working life? If not, how long do you plan to stay in the field? People dissatisfied with their work will often leave within the first five years, and continue to pay off the student loan debt from their failed endeavor for another 20 years or more.

As a writer with over 20 years of professional experience, I can command top dollar for my work. I’ve been freelancing for several years, and the money I make from it combines with my husband’s income to give us the ability to pay our bills.

On to the why the world needs creative people. My simplest answer is “because,” but that doesn’t satisfy the people who argue vehemently against any creative endeavor as a viable income source. What was the last book you read? If it was fiction, not only are the words a creative endeavor, but also the world, it’s characters, setting, plot, dialogue, and every aspect of the story. If it was non-fiction, there’s still creativity involved. The writer has to decide how to present the information, in what order, write the words, and write in a captivating way that will hold a reader’s attention through the most boring data-heavy explanations. Have you watched a TV show or movie lately? Those shows require scripts written by creative minds, sets that are built by technical people who have the creativity to make a world on a page come to life, and technical people like directors and camera operators who have the technical know-how, but also the creativity to frame just the right shot or have the actors move in just the right way, to tell a story.

Does your workplace have training videos? If so, those videos were shot and edited, most likely, by an outside company with the creativity to write the script and direct either actors or the company’s employees to make a presentable final product.

When did you go to the store last? All the signage, ad flyers, and even the layout of the store and merchandise displays were figured out by someone creative. The device you read this article on is a product of someone’s creativity. It may look like another rectangular shaped phone or tablet, or any other desktop or laptop computer you’ve seen, but those ‘any other’ designs are the product of someone finding a creative solution. Their creativity is why you bought what you did rather than something else.

The architect who designed your house, apartment, or office building is creative. While you think of the technical side of the design and build process and claim there’s no creativity there, there’s a designer at a desk moving the stairs yet again ‘because they look ugly there’ or ‘putting them over here would open things up’ – both very creative aspects of home/building design. The furniture in your home is someone’s creative endeavor. You probably chose it because it “looked better” than something else.

Creativity is all around you and you don’t even know it. What do you do that’s creative? Let’s talk on Facebook!