For most of us, it’s the question we dread: “So, what do you want to do with your life?”
Growing up, I thought I knew the perfect answer to this question.
“I want to be a film director!”
From the age of nine to 17, I was glued to my camera and video editing software. I made short skits with my brother until I was old enough to independently create real short films; I even had one of my films shown at a national high school film festival. Everything was perfect – until it wasn’t. Senior year of high school, I made my second short film, and it was so unfulfilling that I changed my lifelong understanding of my future’s trajectory.
Because now, my answer is simply, “I don’t know.”
However, when I heard that The College Tour was coming to ACU, I reached out. That’s why this week I found myself on a film set for the first time in over two years. Like revisiting a best friend, I was surrounded by the once familiar bustle of directors, producers, cinematographers, on-camera talent and production assistants.
As for my role, I was basically the “runner” for the set. I helped with wardrobe, shadowed the crew, held the bounce, helped communicate with the extras and other random tasks to help with the production.
Two months before this week, however, I joined pre-production Zoom calls with The College Tour and wrote parts of ACU’s episode script. I got to see the production take form throughout its many stages.
In the end, I left this week feeling like I made the right decision to leave the film world two years ago. Because what I truly love about film is its ability to tell stories, and I’m still searching for the best way I can do that. Even with this realization, I still learned new lessons from The College Tour.
For one, they have storytelling down to a science. Their crew is efficient and professional in ways I can apply to my future career. I was also incredibly awed with the students that told their ACU stories, further proving that I love hearing and telling others’ stories.
Although this experience was positive and rewarding, it also reinforced a principle I think all college students should be encouraged by. We should all try new professional experiences. That way, we feel educated by our successes and failures, our favorite experiences and our least favorite experiences. So, when we’re asked that fateful question, we don’t feel anxious or lost, but rather thankful for the opportunities that have informed our answer to that question a little bit better.
Now’s the time to try new things, run after new opportunities, and learn about our calling in this ever-changing world.
Authors note: I also want to extend a huge thank you to Darci Armstrong and her team at ACU as well as The College Tour for allowing me this opportunity. Also, keep your eyes out for the premiere of ACU’s episode of The College Tour on Amazon Prime coming this April.