1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Dropping out of college to pursue career

  1. May 4, 2007 #1
    Alright here is my situation. I am entering my first summer session and my dorm rent is due. I am majoring in Physics. Though, I have come to realise that I lack the passion of math that others may have. I can't see myself doing this forever. On the otherhand, I want to become a film director. I have made a very small film in high school and enjoyed it. I have high confidence in myself that I will be successful. Also, the film programat my school is hard to get into(need a portfolio, etc..) and best for freshman(now a soph).

    I can either move out of my dorm this weekend and find a location where movies are being made. Get an apartment and hopefully a job on the set doing what ever(licking **** off the toilet). I won't drop out just yet but not take any summer classes. Or I could stay my route and take the safe road(nope).

    I enjoy change, and love the challange. I think college is a waste of my time and it is holding me back. Also, I believe experience far out weighs education.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2007 #2
    You came onto a physics forum to tell us you abandoned physics to persue film directing?

    I don't want to rain on your parade but there are tons and tons of people that want to be in the entertainment business but aren't getting in. Lots of them are highly confident people.
  4. May 4, 2007 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Unless you get REALLY REALLY LUCKY and you are ready to face a life of disappointment, constantly seeking someone to finance you or let you work on their project. If you aren't fond of money or eating, or shelter. Go for it, you might love it.

    One of my dearest friends is a three time Academy Award winning director of animation of one of the coolest trilogies filmed this century. :approve: I dont think he'd ever do anything else, but the tough times are tough, it's very political and between films you are constantly looking for that next movie.

    He does lurk around here at PF.
  5. May 4, 2007 #4
    Randy Cook?
  6. May 4, 2007 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Okay, since you've already heard from those who can't imagine why you'd give up on physics, I'll give you some advice from the other perspective. If you don't enjoy math and physics, it's not going to be a "safe" route for you. It's only going to get harder as you go along, and if you're already losing interest, you'll continue to struggle with it, not to mention then trying to find jobs and spending your life in a career you hate, or at least don't enjoy.

    On the other hand, you've also only dabbled in film as well, so while it might seem appealing at the moment, I wouldn't drop everything to run headfirst into that either. People willing to take any job on a movie set thinking they'll break into the industry that way are a dime a dozen, and you'll more than likely find it doesn't help in the least bit, other than to show you how much you hate cleaning movie stars' toilets.

    So, my suggestion is that you would probably do best with one of 2 options. Option 1: Continue with summer session courses, but not in math or physics. Use this time to try some other courses that will help you determine what interests you more. If you can take some courses on film (even if it's just film appreciation, or something else likely offered to students not in the arts program yet), that would help you see if this too is just a passing interest based on less than a full understanding of what the courses will really be like, or if it's something you'd really want to pursue. Or, you could take courses in some other areas that might appeal to your artistic side, but provide for a more stable future as well.

    Option 2: Take the summer off, but rather than taking any crap job on a movie set, which won't gain you anything more than cleaning toilets at a fast food restaurant, get a job locally that is more likely to give you job skills anyone can use anywhere (i.e., a temp job in an office setting where you have to work with other people) and then volunteer at your community theater to get some real experience in what the theater experience is all about. You won't be directing any plays yet, but if you work your way up from backstage crew to some small parts, and see what it is the director is doing and learn from them, and maybe after some time of volunteering get to try your hand at directing a bit, that will be more useful than sweeping floors at a big time movie studio.

    There's another thing you might consider long-term in terms of fulfilling your passions and still getting a degree that will be useful to you for finding employment beyond waiting tables. You might find that you can enjoy another career just fine as long as you have a creative outlet, so maybe as long as you get to volunteer with community theater, and eventually direct some plays there as a hobby, you would be content to pursue some other major where you can get a job that allows you regular work hours to pursue your hobbies after work and on weekends. You just need to work on figuring out what that might be.
  7. May 4, 2007 #6


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Sssssh, yes.
  8. May 4, 2007 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    There is a problem with taking the safe road just because it's safe. Without some motivation, there's a tendency to drift along, being mediocre (at best) at what you do.

    That said, I'd put some serious consideration into coming up with the safest plan that either takes you where you want to go or at least puts you in a place that's a good starting point towards what you want.

    It's not necessarily an all or nothing proposition.

    Then again, my first semester was the first time I'd ever made the honor roll in my entire life. The next semester, I had to write a paper on one of the stupidest poems I'd ever read in my entire life: Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening". I never found out what grade I received on that paper. I dropped out and hitch hiked to California before I got my paper back. That didn't turn out that great, but it didn't turn out that horrible, either.
  9. May 4, 2007 #8
    Find your passion and pursue it. Anything else will ruin your life.
  10. May 4, 2007 #9
    Heh, interesting username. Despite that I eat, sleep, and breathe physics (probably not unlike others on this forum), you can rest assured that I'm not offended.

    My advice is this: if you don't like physics, that's fine. You don't have to do it. You also mentioned that you're not that passionate about math. There's nothing wrong with this either; I'm a physics graduate student and even I don't like math. I couldn't figure it out from your post, but if you're trying to say that you're not good at math, I'll go so far as to say that you should not major in physics. As much as some of us hate it, physics (both theoretical and experimental) is a mathematically intense subject, and if you're not at least proficient in math, then majoring in physics would just be setting yourself up for failure.

    Dropping out of school, however, is not a good idea. Nor is putting your education on the back burner. It's best to get your degree as soon as is reasonably possible, and without a degree, you could be in serious trouble career wise. Dropping out of school to become a film director is sort of like setting your hopes on becoming a football star: the risk promises great rewards, but it's probably not going to happen. With a college degree you can always become a film director. But if you quit college now, the chances of ever getting your degree are going to diminish. And by not having a degree, you close the door on a lot of your employment options.

    As for experience, certainly it's important, but it's generally not a substitute for an undergraduate degree. Yes, there are stories of tech-savvy people who have lucrative jobs in the computer industry without ever going to college, but these stories are the exception rather than the rule. I have more friends than I can count who are great with computers, but not so great at school. And none of them have very good jobs. My guess is that the prospects aren't much better in the film industry. Experience can compensate for, say, a graduate education. But I doubt you'll get a good job without an undergraduate degree.

    So in short (or in case you didn't want to read my whole post): you should switch to a major that you can do, and get your degree.
  11. May 4, 2007 #10
    Change is easy, commitment is difficult.

    I agree, if that's your attitude.

    There is no reason not to do both, at the same time, unless you think that education (which is a retelling of a culmination of past human experiences) is too difficult, too boring, too costly, etc for you.
  12. May 4, 2007 #11
    physicscrap your attitude sucks, i'm going to be blunt, what do you have that the other 10,000 film students don't? great screen plays, access to large amounts of money, major studio contacts, dinner every night with a-list stars? see what i'm saying.
  13. May 4, 2007 #12
    You'll be lucky if you can even land a job making jack in the box commercials.

    why did you major in physics to begin with if you hate it so much
  14. May 4, 2007 #13
    heres a quote from about a year ago and it was the OP of your second thread ever made on PF

    what happened?
  15. May 4, 2007 #14
    i think high school students are prone to saying stuff like that, especially when they're applying to university, thinking about what they want to do for a living, etc

    to be honest, i think a lot of kids first going into physics, math, etc are more excited about romantic ideas that are often associated with these particular subjects

    things definitely change when you get to university and are slapped in the face, so to speak, by reality
  16. May 5, 2007 #15


    User Avatar

    Math. I feel like a lot of times they don't even tell you math is involved that much.
  17. May 5, 2007 #16
    but physics is like geometry. instead of explaining shapes we explain events. Doing math is pretty important....
  18. Aug 27, 2011 #17
    With the economy being declared all but dead, the value of getting a college education is being called into question by a lot of people.

    There has been a lot of talk lately about whether young people should bother going to college with a bad economy and few jobs available. Though it may seem a worthy debate on the surface, students might be better off staying in college than dropping out to face the job market.
  19. Aug 27, 2011 #18


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    have you considered switching to a film major? you might learn how to make and market films, plus you would have a degree for lots of other job options.
  20. Aug 27, 2011 #19


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    If i'm not mistaken this thread is made in '07, necro'ed by the poster above you
  21. Aug 27, 2011 #20


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    wisdom is eternal.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook