Imagine the whitest Christian male from your high school and try telling me they didn’t play baseball. I am the blonde-haired, blue-eyed conservative boy of Little League - I live in Los Angeles, I’m Jewish, and I want to write comedy.
During one of my Media classes last semester, our professor got sidetracked and we got on the topic of jobs. To her surprise, she found every student enter a panic mode resembling that of FOX News anytime the White House administration does, well, anything. I don’t know a lot of things. The I-9 and W-4 forms I need to fill out for my part-time on-campus job have been sitting on my desk for a month because I’m afraid of messing up my own address. But I know enough to be absolutely terrified of graduating college. My professor listened in horror as we went around the table explaining why we have little chance of making it in our respective fields - engineers searching for child prodigies, fashion designers requiring complete originality, actors needing connections. There she was, sitting among teenagers that were completely convinced they had already thrown their lives away. Is this applicable to everyone? No. Doctors, lawyers, teachers….they all need extra schooling past a simple undergraduate degree. It’s nearly impossible for anyone to achieve such an education before hitting 21. For me, a hopeful comedian, I could drop out of Occidental College right now and probably end up more successful because of my laughable failure. My field is based on the ability to be funny, rather than how well I can analyze the motions of a train in a Lumière Brothers film (despite how interesting that truly is).
Take what I say here with a grain of salt. All of this is from the perspective of someone whose work experience is a neighborhood tutoring job. I’m convinced that passion just isn’t enough today. It takes a quality deep within someone’s genes to end up exactly where they aim to be. While the “American Dream” was never as real as textbooks made it out to seem, I sense a greater collective struggle among young adults today. I’m sure laziness is a huge factor (not excluding my 2-PM-wake-up-call ass), but then I think that maybe laziness is a symptom, rather than a cause. Why should I bother writing out an entire sitcom pilot if I know it’s going to be less popular than my first grade diary entries? (Which, still, have only been read by me.) Should I bother tweeting a funny joke even though I hardly have any followers? Social media provides opportunities, but it also brings to light how easy it is to fail. I will laugh at my tweet every time I see it, but it will forever remain unnoticed by anyone else. A quick Google search will most likely find you five hundred articles just like mine. I will finish typing this, submit it, and be lucky if my Facebook friends click the link. But they already know I’m funnier than they are so their clicking this will get me nowhere. I’m trapped by the constraints of a society I know I’m fit for.
So if you clicked on this expecting a detailed agenda by which to get the job of your dreams, I am only mildly sorry. Scratch that. I need to save that “sorry” for whomever’s sandwich I screw up at Quizno’s in ten years.
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- Heads up, Harry Potter fans. You can now get Butterbeer ice cream at your grocery store 🍦✨