Tag Archives: Law School

No More Back Up Plan

11 Apr

You may recall a short while ago I blogged about thinking about going back to University, specifically, going to Law School. I was torn between being a grown up, sucking it up, and just going already and following my dreams and staying with the acting. I had almost convinced myself that I would start studying for the LSATs and take the necessary steps to apply. ย I would be a good lawyer, shrug, and I’m sure I would find it entertaining and challenging but it’s not acting. Nothing will ever be as good an option as acting. However, acting doesn’t pay very well unless you make it to the top and I’m sick and tired of being poor.

Turns out I don’t get to make the decision about going back to school, the government has chosen for me.

For those not in Canada let me explain how student loans work here. You apply, hopefully you get money, you go to school. Once you have been done school for a certain amount of time (6 months or a year, I can’t remember which) you are supposed to start paying back your student loans. However, if you are poor, which most recent graduates are, and not making a lot of money you can apply for Repayment Assistance. You send in a form, the people that manage the paying back of government student loans look at the form and decide if you are so poor you don’t have to make monthly payments.

I have always been that poor. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

When you qualify for Repayment Assistance the government pays the interest on your loan and you don’t have to make any payments, or you might have to make payments but small ones that are calculated based on what you earn.

Like I said, since graduation I have always been poor enough that I haven’t had to make monthly payments.

Well, the student loan people in all their “wisdom” have decided that I can now somehow magically afford to make monthly payments on my student loan. Uh, what?? I go a good 3 out of 4 weeks every month unable to buy groceries and only survive food wise because I work somewhere that has a kitchen and the chefs will feed me. I literally live paycheque to paycheque and now I have to find an extra $90 a month to give the student loan people??

student loans

Who does the math over there?? Do they not realize I live in a ridiculously expensive city? That I live on my own and therefore have to rely on my paycheque to pay for everything, no spouse/partner to help me out? That I have car payments? That I have other bills that I struggle to pay? Do they not realize that a person, no matter how little money they make, still needs to have enough left over every month so they can buy something fun otherwise they will go a little nuts?

The thing is, they know everything about me due to the nature of the organization. They have all kinds of info about me because of lending me money for school. They know what I earn, what my expenses are, where I live, the cost of living here, that I am human and sometimes need to buy something fun, they just don’t care.

They were more than willing to loan me money when I was younger, and stupider, and didn’t really grasp how hard life would be when I was done school, living on my own and trying to make ends meet and now that I am older, hopefully a bit wiser, and in the stage of life where I should be paying them back but can’t afford to, they don’t care.

They want their cut, just like everyone else and screw my need for groceries, rent, or anything else my money strains to pay for now.

As if that wasn’t mean enough the letter I got from them today telling me how much my monthly payments are also says:

“you are now restricted from future student financial assistance benefits, in the form of new student loans and grants should you decide to return to school in the future”

Huh.

So, even if I was the most gung-ho person ever with regards to going back to school it wouldn’t matter, cause I can’t afford it, they won’t give me money for it, and even if I somehow found a way to earn extra money I wouldn’t be allowed to save it up because they would increase how much I have to pay them every month.

While I can see the logic of not continuously loaning money out to people who can’t pay it back I can’t help but feel the system is flawed. I went to University, did well, decided to pursue an acting career, haven’t made money at it (yet!) and am now thinking about going to Law School. I’m pretty sure the argument can be made that lawyers will always be needed and it is a slightly more secure career path than acting, so you’d think they’d be ok with helping someone go to school so they can then earn a higher income which would enable them to not only be a more financially contributing member of society but also pay back their student loans.

But since the world isn’t run using my logic I must follow the rules they have set out, flawed as they are, which means no possibility of law school for me.

Good bye back up plan *waves somberly at UBC Law Department* guess I won’t be seeing you soon.

student loan meme

Sidenote: I am well aware not being able to pay back a student loan is a “first world problem” and I don’t mean to come off as a whiny, spoiled brat, I’m just frustrated with the student loan system. you can’t get a well paying job without a University education, you can’t get a University education without student loans, tuition keeps getting hiked up which means loan amounts keep getting hiked up but once you graduate the promised well paying jobs are not there and so you are shackled with a huge amount of debt, with a high interest rate, and a low paying job. All because you followed the rules that said going to University was the way to succeed. *rolls eyes*

Does Growing Up Mean You Have To Give Up?

29 Mar

Do you know what you were meant to be?

Some people believe there are destined career paths for all of us and it is just a matter of knowing yourself and knowing what that career path is. Sort of like your career soul mate.

I’ve known what I’ve wanted to be before I understood it was a career. We didn’t watch a lot of tv when I was growing up, mostly what was on the tv was news, hockey, once every four years the Olympics, oh and Saturday morning cartoons lol. Basically, the shows that had real people in them were things that actually really did have real people being themselves (like news anchors).

When I got a bit older and started watching things that weren’t cartoons I wanted to be so many different things because I thought the characters I saw on tv were real people. If I saw a show and there was a cop character I really liked I wanted to be a cop. Hell, when I watched Free Willy I was torn between wanting to be a runaway kid and a marine biologist lol I actually spent a chunk of time learning about dolphins and whales, pestering the trainers at the dolphin exhibit in the mall with all sorts of questions about the health and habits of dolphins because I wanted to know everything about them. I thought by being a marine biologist that would make me like the character in the movie. Oh my twisted logic! ๐Ÿ˜›

Growing up I wanted to be a lot of things because of this misunderstanding about the people on tv and in movies. Sure, kids want to be lots of different things as they grow up but all the careers I chose were because I wanted to be that person on tv, not because of the career itself.

As I got older I started learning more about Hollywood and tv filming etc and I was hit smack dab with the realization I was screwed. Hollywood is in LA, I can’t work in LA, I’m Canadian. I’m not going to be randomly spotted by a scout, or have an easy time figuring out how to get an agent cause not only am I in Canada, I am in the freakin prairies! Nothing film-wise happens there! I shoved down my desire to be an actress because it seemed impractical (I come from a very practical family) and more than that, it seemed impossible. I didn’t tell anyone what I wanted to be because I feared their responses, so I kept my wanting-to-act a secret and just daydreamed about it. Those daydreams were half torment (constantly thinking about something you are convinced you can’t have sucks) and my only escape from the life path I seemed stuck on.

growing up sucks

Then I learned about film school. I was close to finishing my Bachelor of Arts Degree and getting more and more depressed thinking about how when I finished my bachelors I was going to go write LSATS and go to law school and while I’d be making everyone in my family happy I’d be quietly miserable. It was either that or get my Masters in Sociology which was more tolerable of an idea but less likely to get me a career when I was done so what was the point? A friend showed me a pamphlet about the film school he was going to for Digital Game Design, as I was flipping through it I saw they had an Acting Department. I was floored. You can go to school to learn how to act in Canada? How did I not know this?? Probably because I was so busy trying to hide from myself just how desperately I wanted to act. I asked if I could keep the pamphlet and tucked it in my bag. I carried it around with me for days, pulling it out, re-reading it like it was some forbidden text. I checked the school out online and it opened something in me. The box I had stuffed my dream in to opened a crack and I experienced a little bit of hope that just maybe I could have a chance to follow my dream. I applied for Acting School on the sly, didn’t tell anyone, I figured if they didn’t accept me no one had to know and if they did well, I’d deal with that if it happened.

It totally happened. They got my submission package, it included two self-taped monologues, and I got immediate acceptance. They actually apologized for taking a day and a half to contact me but they had to wait for one more person to view the monologues before officially accepting me even though everyone who had watched my tape said yes to taking me in. It seemed unreal. I was so excited I wanted to get up and dance lol

So here I am, years later, living in BC, still trying to earn a living at acting. I had the unfortunate luck of getting a string of not-great agents (one literally disappeared!), and having day jobs that barely pay the bills meaning all the investments I as an actor am supposed to make to be viable in the industry very rarely get made (new headshots on a frequent basis, demo reels, appropriate wardrobe, continued acting classes/workshops and more). Acting is one of those things you have to invest a lot of money in to before you’ll get anything out of it and I never have the money, I’m impressed if I can pay my rent, bills and buy groceries all in one month! lol

A friend of mine lately has been on my case about going back to school, she says I am wasting my brain at my day job (which yeah, ok, I am) and she feels I should give up on acting and get a responsible career. sigh. She’s not the only one, I know my parents would love it if I’d quit with the acting and do something that was more sensible. And yeah, I’ve been poor a long time, and some days I think I’m done with it and can give up my dream if it means I can have a larger, steady paycheque that allows to me to pay my bills, get out of debt and maybe even save a little but when I really sit down and think about it I cringe. Not about the money part, of course I want more money, but the giving up on my dream part.

Acting is…it is my thing. It is what I was meant to do. Nothing else makes me feel the way acting does, whether it is working on a scene, being in front of a camera, plotting my rise to fame with my agent. Just the idea of giving up, of no longer trying makes me sad. But I know I have to grow up at some point, and maybe I am at that point. Maybe I can’t wait for a time where I don’t feel despondent about quitting acting, maybe that will never happen, maybe I just have to push all my dreams back in to a dark corner in my heart and forget about them, squish them down and become like everybody else, doing a job I don’t love but that pays the bills with a little left over.

With that in mind I have an appointment this coming week for a tour of the Law Department at UBC. If I’m gonna go back might as well go back to the original responsible plan right? I had convinced myself I was ok with this tour, that it would be interesting and maybe I was up for a change until I got an email from the University I got my Bachelors from. It was an email with highlights of what people have been doing and one of the highlights was about a play being put on by students there, my first thought was if I go to Law school I’ll never have the chance to perform again, I’ll be giving all that up, and my heart hurt a bit. Why does growing up and making grown up decisions have to include the death of my dream and involve my giving up on what I want?

Growing up sucks.

were adults

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