Life After High School

1_ljV4VTIW5UB_kB_YCl1Kfg.jpeg

Originally published on Medium April 27, 2016

Not your thang? It gets better.

I didn’t hate school; it was just never my thing. I worked hard and got good grades. My friends at school were really cool humans too — I just never felt like I belonged in high school. When I wasn’t studying or playing basketball, I would work, volunteer at my church and play guitar. Thank goodness for music. Looking back now, it is what kept me sane in between the ACT prep and english essays about the relevance of irrelevant books.

That “fish out of water” feeling grew exponentially during my three years in college. I was a math and science geek in high school so of course I would pursue something “responsible and smart” at the university level. I studied Electrical Engineering and later changed my major to Computer Science. Surprisingly, I learned nothing practical, but better believe I can strike up a riveting conversation about PN Junction theory for semiconductors or program a for-loop statement in C or Python that outputs a pyramid of asterisks. Did that last sentence put you straight to sleep? Same.

 That fancy guitar gear is what later funded my photo/video adventures.

That fancy guitar gear is what later funded my photo/video adventures.

I kept feeding myself, and family members, the lie that I was fine. “I’M FINE GUYS I’M GOING TO BE MAKING THAT SIX-FIGURE PROGRAMMING SALARY. I’M FINE I PROMISE” *pulls hair out, burns textbooks, takes axe to computer with the forever blank word document, buys one way ticket to Mexico*

Screen Shot 2018-07-08 at 5.35.25 PM.png

HOWEVER, the cool thing about college is it’s not high school. Your schedule is much more flexible and you are almost full on “adulting”. The next phase of life is LIFE— not another tier of education (of course there are exceptions like Master’s degrees, etc). In college, not only do you have the freedom to be reckless and irresponsible but you also have the freedom to start your journey taking over the world. The sooner you start your LIFE, the sooner you will see results. I had no freaking clue what I wanted to do with my life when I graduated high school. Going to college and doing something I absolutely hated really pushed me into what I love. I found myself taking any babysitting job I could and selling off guitar equipment so I could travel and buy new cameras. I would stay up until 2AM editing videos because HOLY CRAP IT’S SO MUCH FUN.

LESSONS LEARNED: Stay curious. Never stop trying new things. It is unlikely you will find your life purpose 6 hours into a Netflix show. You have to get out into the world and work your butt off, meet new people and experience different cities.

1_VMnC9P6jtn7_B3n0WIebQw.jpeg

Four months ago, thanks to the sum of my life experiences and learning opportunities in the three years after high school, I had the unshakable confidence to pursue my dreams full force. “Pursuing my dreams” sounds so cheesy but the thought of not dropping out of college — for the approval of others — literally made me sick to my stomach. I put my mind to things and they happened. Something magical occurs when the two worlds of talent + hard work collide. Once you fully grasp the possibilities that the amazing World Wide Web offers, you will be unstoppable.

The whole point of this post — IT GETS BETTER. If you are continually seeking out opportunity and developing your skills — It. Gets. Better. You are not supposed to have your entire life figured out at the age of 16 years old, yet that’s when the world expects you to decide which $40k/year college you should go to… which is freaking crazy. Smh. That’s a rant for a different Medium post.

So, take this time to explore your interests. Instead of worrying about who’s dating who and what Sally posted on Snapchat — just be YOU and put in the work at an early age. If you are in high school, most likely you are not paying rent and insurance so work that minimum wage job or flip garage sale items on craigslist and buy that expensive camera or guitar or plane ticket. You don’t have to wait, start working hard NOW to achieve what you want for your future.

When considering what college to go to, think about choosing an in-state school or a community college because it is more affordable. Live at home for a little while to save money. Get good grades and work but also travel the world and experience different cultures. Work on that side hustle.

Life will never be easy but trust me when I say it is much more enjoyable when you are wise with your time, money and relationships. You are never too young to start thinking about your future.

❤ SARA DIETSCHY, rhymes with peachy

Putting In The Work

1_hJq8ie5qoF-4y-xy_xZXMA.jpeg

Originally published on Medium March 25, 2016

In the words of Rihanna “werk werk werk werk werk”

A few thoughts from the past two years of my life for a little context:

  • Wow I hate college.
  • This photo video thing is cool. I like it a lawt.
  • *werk werk travel werk werk werk werk*
  • I am 21 years old. Why am I already living life for my Plan B?
  • *drops out of college to pursue hopes, dreams & aspirations*

One month ago, stress and anxiety dominated every aspect of my life. Sleeping was not a thing. I was working on freelance corporate videos, maintaining a weekly upload to my YouTube channel, posting every day to my blog, chasing after a very ambitious opportunity and worrying about making ends meet. I have never been more confident about a decision in my life than when I dropped out of college but fear of the future occasionally creeped into my mind.

For one year I had been pouring into my YouTube channel with consistent uploads and projects like Creative Spaces TV, that were rewarding once finished, but I felt were worth so much more than 1,500 views. Generally speaking, I am a very positive person with the constant drive to take over the world but I found myself in a place of self doubt and lack of motivation. My videos were getting an average of 500 - 1000 views and I had one of those “DOES MY ART EVEN MATTER!??!?!” moments (#relatable). The sleep deprivation did not help my mini breakdown moment. I knew the steps I needed to take to get closer to my goal but it was difficult to find the energy to take those steps.

Moments like these are when structure is key. Deadlines produce an obligation to create. I was having a diva moment, and the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of a camera and talk to the world wide web, but I did it because it is what I have been making myself do for the past year. So internet fam — what do you do when you don’t want to put in the work? You put in the work. It always pays off. Your next piece of art can be the big break through — THE ONE CREATION THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING.

This was the video I almost did not make because I didn’t feel like it.

I made this video during the pursuit of another opportunity that has now come full circle as well. I can tell you now that I’m on the other side of things, I am 101398473084% thrilled that I put in the work when I did not want to (I’ll share more about this other thing later).

My “How to Casey Neistat” video went a tad viral after catching the attention of the insanely talented Casey Neistat himself and grew my channel from 3,400 YouTube subscribers to now over 100,000 subscribers in the span of a few weeks. Of course serendipity plays a role in things like this but you have to put in the work to even create this kind of possibility. PUT IN THE WORK. PUT IN THE WORK. PUT IN THE WORK. If you only take one thing away from this — PUT IN THE WORK.

The harder you work, the luckier you get. — Gary Player

I was so close to not making this video, but holy smokes internet friends, I am so glad I did. I now have an amazing platform to share my films, thoughts and ideas and I can share all of the things I have learned and experienced thus far with 100,000 of my closest friends. This is a tumblr blog post that I wrote and saved to my drafts the night before the internet boost from Casey.

(these are partial thoughts strung together at 4AM so forgive the terrible grammar & sentence structure)

1_TTgBULrl5IIdrmHyujiSzg.png

on the edge of something really epic”

Whoa.

Life has been pretty epic thus far and it’s only getting EPICER (I know that’s not a word but I’m making it a word). I am stupid stoked for the future and to bring all of my internet friends with me. I want to help in any way I can through sharing my journey and putting out content that inspires yals freaking faces off.

When in doubt, keep creating. Chase inspiration, but create structure that holds you responsible to your art. Pursuing your dream is not about waiting around for that one perfect moment. Pursuing your dream is about you manufacturing the circumstances for your art to thrive.

❤ SARA DIETSCHY, rhymes with peachy