I wonder how different my life would have been if I actually took that journalism degree?
Sixteen years ago, the Careers Advisor came to our school and passed out xeroxed pages of job suggestions listing everything from Accountant to Zoologist. (Pornstar, Juggler, and Hitman were all omitted, although they're just as valid, dammit.)
I scanned the document. The previous thirteen years of schooling were now largely irrelevant. Everything in my life was going to hinge on these next ten minutes.
What should I do for the rest of my life then?
'Ah! Media!' I thought, ‘Films and telly. Brilliant’.
So that was my future sorted out. When's breaktime?
I had a vague image in my head back then ~ Me, older and fitter, with a square jaw and a camera on my shoulder. I would be in a cream-coloured safari suit for some reason, looking handsome as I filmed intrepidly whilst being shot at. Primarily, I would get thin as I would not be working behind a desk. (I was a fat schoolboy back then, and gained a lot of weight following that profile picture. Perhaps the photo triggered the binge eating?)
I did, however, also have a vague notion that perhaps I should maybe consider the possibility of the idea that perchance I could tinker with the concept of getting a career in Journalism. I always liked English and deep, deep down, I wanted to persue something vaguely journalistic but thought it a lot of terribly hard work.
Why not then get involved in the glamorous and exciting world of THE MEDIA, where I could work with vacuous celebrities and wear jeans all day! THE MEDIA, where my friends would all be famous and I would earn loads doing something I'd not yet thought about. THE MEDIA, where I could say to people, 'Yeah, I work in THE MEDIA', and they'd all go 'Ooooh.'
Plus I'd found out that I could do a BTEC in Media Studies, and that meant NO EXAMS ever again. That is what I believe our American cousins call a 'No Brainer'.
In any case, if all else failed, I prided myself in not being that stupid. I could always do that generic job, Business, as I reckoned I could sell snow to people who have lots of free snow, like Canadians. And then there was my other passion, although I've never felt so passionate as to actually do anything about it: Acting.
Yes, at 16, I really did have a world of options at my feet. There were several things I could try my hand at, although I never really felt that strongly about any one thing over another, so my course of action was to take the path of least resistance, or to be more accurate, to study something that required the least effort.
That'll be Media then.
So that was my Master Plan. Don't try too hard, bumble along with my destiny in the hands of Fate, and Everything Should Work Itself Out In The End because after all, Life should be aaaaalright for those with half a brain.
Sixteen-year-olds are idiots.