Monday Opinion/Rant: Being Creative Edition

I am angry. I finally, after days on weeks on whatever of sadness and nothing and a black hole of despair, am angry. It is welcome, almost. You should be angry too.

I am in the awkward and broke position of somebody who is currently studying at University. When I finish and I get a useless piece of paper that says I am qualified in Creative Writing and Film Studies and am now the owner of over 20,000 in debt, I will be in an even more awkward position. I will be pursuing a career in the under-appreciated and under-funded Creative Arts. More specifically, I plan to make my living writing. And I am angry because this is not easy.

Currently in Britain, it is pretty damn hard to be a student at all. You are poor and you have no idea how much you will earn when you leave or if your degree will even mean anything. But if you are lucky enough, smart enough or driven enough to be studying a science, or teaching, or nursing, then at least over the course of many years you will follow a clear cut path that will eventually lead you to a salary. If that is what you truly want to do, then you are lucky.

But, in traditional first world white girl fashion, I am sitting here saying what about me? What about all of the other artists, travellers or writers who know what they want but need to earn money? What about the people who don’t know what they want at all, but want to have enough time to think about it before going into a job they hate?

It is inherently selfish to think this way, but of course we all do. I do not want to have to work a cafe or a bar or sell catalogues door to door to support myself, but of course I do. I want to write and I want to go places and I want to have enough money and time to cope. It is incredibly selfish of me to only think of myself in my quite privileged situation where I do not have a family to support or racial prejudice to deal with, but I do it. And so do you.

So be angry. Do what you want to do. If you have to collect Jobseekers’ or wait tables or walk dogs to support what you want, then do it. If you want to go around the world and spend your life savings before you figure out what you want to do, then do it. You are allowed to be angry at your shitty situation and your shitty country and a bad political situation for putting you in a place where you have to choose money over your loves and passions. Do not feel guilty for admitting that you struggle sometimes even though, in the grand scheme of life, you have it pretty sweet.

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