I believe we all ponder such questions at some stage of our youth, some during their adulthood.
To examine it mathematically, I think you can list several factors at play in life’s overal mapping:
- How much money will you make?
- How much fun will you have in your career?
- How much free time do you get? (AKA non-career fun)
- How much initial investment will it require?
- How much risk will it require?
- How much creative expression will you have?
- How much lifestyle license will you have?
- How much technical knowledge will it require?
Blah blah blah…Point is, I think the origin of the Teenage Crisis that we’ve all had, is when we realize EVERY career screws one of these up. And I think it’s really funny when you examine college majors based off of these, and realize why certain majors are so popular.
Case in point, psychology majors are usually people who want a doctor’s money, but freak out at the thought of all that awful math and anatomy they (gasp!) might be forced into learning. Economics majors are actually just Political Science majors, but worry about the social stereotypes and bleaker job outlook that a liberal arts degree might bring. They’re also usually majoring in their preconcieved high school notions of politics (both left and right) but expect they’ll have more gravitas if they can claim some math behind it. Business majors are talentless in all areas, but love the idea that being a selfish martini drinker somehow turns into a big paycheck.
Point is, pulling any “lifetime decision” thread unravels a knot somewhere else. So just assume there’ll be a big hill to climb whatever you decide, and be true to thy self. And yeah, debt sucks, but college debt (which falls under certain legal status and usury rates) is way better than credit card debt. Case in point, the recent legislation that got passed means the repayment rate of your student loans can be set at a max standard of a percentage of your income; in other words, if you’re just working minimum wage after college, the max rate (min rate?) is based on a number after assuming you have to eat food and pay bills and rent an apartment.
Lastly, animation is the lovely rare major where you get out of it whatever you put into it. College is a great arena to learn stuff, build a portfolio and practice a bunch. But at the end of the day, a lazy artist’s crappy portfolio from CalArts is no different than a lazy artist’s crappy portfolio from a community college. Or alternatively, a good never-sleep artist’s polished portfolio (made at Ringling) is just as good as a good never-sleep artist’s polished portfolio he made after pounding endless tutorials.
Aaaand I ought to be workin’ on my late night project, not wasting time on forums. Hope some of that was comprehendable!