COLLEGE, HIGH SCHOOL, & MENTAL DISABILITIES
Hello, everyone. My name is Alex E. and I'm having a lot of trouble deciding whether or not I should go to college or a trade school. My parents have two opposite answers when it comes to this problem: my mom says "go to a college that suits your personality and goals" and my dad says "go to a trade school that will get you a sustainable job." This is only one of the problems concerning college. So my first questions are: Is college better than trade school? Will going to a trade school or college lead to a better quality of life and happiness?
I'm not technical or precise and I have no interest or knowledge in technology, though I use technology often to produce and engineer music, animation, and writing. I took a coding class in tenth grade and I barely passed because I had absolutely no idea how to code all-throughout the class even though we were using the most basic coding language available. It could've been the fault of the teacher's or it was more likely my inability to understand the subject. I can use computers and technology as tools, I just can't make them very well.
I do very well in art, music-related, film, photography, and writing classes however the likelihood of finding a sustainable job in these areas are slim to none due to the artistic nature of these jobs or at least that's how it seems from observation and from my father. My mother, on the other hand, implores that I pursue careers in any one of these fields because it goes with who I am as a person.
As a student, I suck immensely. I can't lie about that. I know that I'm intelligent (not to say that I don't have plenty of stupid moments); my SAT and PSSA (state assessment) scores are great. I do not do my homework because by the time I leave school and arrive at home, all thoughts of school have left my mind and I concentrate on the things that I do at home: make music, work on animation projects, help others with their projects (usually online), and so on. Like Las Vegas, anything that happens in school, stays in school.
I think that if I could retain the feeling of importance that school has when I am in school into home, I would succeed at school. However, I am getting D's and C's in nearly all my classes and I have been getting those grades since fifth grade, barely passing every year.
My mother blames my ADD and my father denies that claim and says that I'm lazy. I know for a fact that I am not lazy. My concern with this is how I'll be able to function as a person when I am on my own. I worry if I'll be able to remember to pay taxes and bills, and be able to complete tasks in the job that I'll have.
LIST OF ADDITIONAL THINGS TO CONSIDER:
As for ADD, my dad said that my mom would travel from psychologist to psychologist until one of them diagnosed me with ADD and Asperger's Syndrome.
My dad works at a corrupted corporation called Navistar, along with a corrupted union. He worked there for more than ten years and he has despised that place immeasurably since the beginning. My mom tells me that he had the opportunity to go to a trade school to learn HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) or any other trade. He ended up not going, presumably because of the cycle of despair that he was in. Currently, my dad has been putting emphasis on me going to a trade school for HVAC. I assume that this is because he wants to make up for his failure to go to HVAC himself. That's honorable of him to do, but not something I want to do for a living. I am also very scared that I will end up with a similar, menial job.
College is intensely expensive and, in this economic state that America is in, it is a bad idea to put oneself in perpetual debt, potentially for the rest of one's life. I do not want to deal with a debt that cannot be realistically or quickly paid off, as debt is the tool of indentured servitude (AKA financial slavery).
My friend is a filmmaker who has not gone to college and does not plan to. He says that a degree in film-making is worthless. I also heard that a degree in any art form is worthless.
As for colleges that I'm interested in, there's Millersville University for Music Education/Performance/Audio Engineering (those three subjects are combined into one four-year degree); Green Mountain College for Natural Resource Management, Renewable Energy & Ecological Design, Sustainable Agriculture, and Writing; Lancaster College of Art and Design for animation and art design (this college has a graduation rate of less than fifty percent possibly due to tough expectations or due to the school being a sham); California University of Pennsylvania for environmentalism (this college has a program that assists with people who have hardships with basic school-related tasks like I do); and HACC for biology, general studies (I've been to an open house at HACC and the school seemed to be filled with sub-par, idiotic students. The teachers looked nice but the school looked to be filled with uneducated students).
If I had to choose right now, I would either go to Millersville for audio engineering to help me with being a better and more awesome musician than I already am or go to Green Mountain College for environmentalism to help the planet and turn the public opinion against corporate pollution. The only problem with Green Mountain that I'm aware of at the moment is that the school is in Vermont and I am in south-central Pennsylvania. If I go there, the aforementioned fear of being a nonfunctional adult will persist.
PERSONAL FREEDOM, & QUALITY OF LIFE
Currently, I require long amounts of time to work on the things that I want to pursue right now: music and animation. I know that I am an awesome animator and a unique musician. That's not a vote of cockiness, that's a reassurance of self-confidence and the truth. The only way that I could've gotten to this level that I'm at right now is by spending incredibly long amounts of time devoted to working on these things.
For example, I worked for seven hours a day for one-and-a-half months to make a progressive rock/electronica/ambient soundtrack to a documentary. Even though I worked so much on it, I wish I had more because it could've been better than it is now. Right now, I'm working on a high-quality animated music video of Ninja Sex Party's "Road Trip" (and if anyone knows anything about animation, its that it takes veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery long time to complete), a new synthprog (progressive electronic rock) album, assistance with my friend's movie, music for the fan-made Eddsworld movie, and a solo synthprog concert at school.
I'm afraid that I will have to give up these things in order to become a responsible adult. I do not know any adults who are artists or musicians that are doing anything at all with their art or music, except for two people (Ron Schiding and Erik C. Dunne). For example, my dad was an excellent writer and a great guitarist. He has not touched the guitar since I was born (and especially after he joined Navistar) and he hasn't written anything either.
Music, animation, writing, and art are the things that give me purpose in life and I honestly feel like if I can't do those things (or something similar), I have no purpose.
And in the future, I might find something else to do. But as of right now and in the foreseeable future, I don't.
Basically, I want to make music and animated cartoons for a living. That's my life goal. It's also an incredibly unlikely goal and I have no other skills or talents that make me happy. So I'm currently in a mad dash to develop myself to be the greatest musician and animator that I can in my present condition (senior high school student), going against the opposition of my parents, the accepted rules of society of "shut up, suck it up, and work", and of the school I go to.
EDIT: I removed the talk about suicide after learning that the forums do not condone the criminal speakage of a certain topic even though I really think they should, but don't.