I am currently a senior who intends on graduating in May. That alone is stressful. When you take into consideration that I am taking 21 credit hours this semester, that sounds like one continuous, semester-long anxiety attack. The one thing that eases my nerves and stress levels are my compassionate professors.
I’m a film major. I know that anyone in the creative arts gets shit, because we have easy majors, our work is simple, and it’s just for fun. (Please agree with me, fellow artists. It’s brutal.) I’ve spent hundreds of hours on various editing softwares, and I still feel like a beginner. My professors keep me sane.
Let me tell you about my screenwriting professor. Her name is Jamie. She gets college kids. She tells us to submit anything rather than nothing. She understands that writer’s block is a thing, and that every week’s work won’t be perfect. She makes me feel comfortable submitting mediocre work, because I can acknowledge that it’s mediocre. I know that I will go back and edit and fix things. Because I know that my work isn’t final (until the end of the semester), I can keep workshopping and brainstorming. I don’t have a pressure on my shoulders that I need to produce my best work, every week, for fourteen consecutive weeks. Let’s be honest, that’s pretty much impossible.
My film theory professor doesn’t follow the syllabus. Normally, this would annoy me, because I need structure. However, he’s not going to make us take an exam that he doesn’t feel that he’s properly prepared us for. I totally love that.
My production professor is passionate about what he’s teaching. I’m learning how to shoot on 16mm film, which is intimidating. He makes it less terrifying. He works with us on each step, so that we can learn correctly. He loves his craft, and this medium, and wants us to have that same appreciation, not fear it.
All of my professors are wonderful and caring and intelligent. They allow me to explore my areas of interest without the threat of failure. They understand that some tasks take time, or that some things are more challenging than others. Sometimes, it boils down to the fact that they know I’m stressed, and I need a breather. I hold myself to incredibly high standards, so if my advisor can be the one to assure me its okay to take a day off, I feel blessed.
I’m surrounded by creative students and peers, and our professors glorify us individually so that we don’t feel put against each other. I am starting to internalize my strengths within the film and screenwriting world, because they tell me, and show me how to expand my abilities. I am so thankful.