Pixar vs. Reality – Melanie Whithaus


A very strange combination of things has brought me to my current state of mind: Pixar’s Monsters University and the fact that I’m taking the GRE in less than a week.

I couldn’t tell you want GRE stands for, but I will tell you that this test is going to decide my future. For those of you who don’t know, taking the GRE decides if you’ll be going to grad school, or at least your grad school of choice. Now I know I can always take it again if I totally fail, but preparing for this test has given me the time to think about my future (when I should be studying, of course).

How does Pixar’s latest film tie into this all? The film follows Mike who wanted to be a Scarer his entire life. He looked forward to going to college just so he could study his dream job and be successful in his field. But after a series of events, he ends up having to leave the university and ultimately leave his dream behind. But over time, he becomes a Scarer without that college education and loves what he does.

Personally, I think the film promotes the idea that you don’t need a college education to succeed in life. Mike was so determined to succeed, and he did, but not in the way he originally planned. The film got me thinking about my own future and going to grad school.

For the past year, grad school has been my dream after college. I’ll finish my undergrad at SEMO and then move on to get my Master in Fine Arts at NYU. My thesis would be about fan fiction and I would have the ideal life of any writer living in the quarters of Greenwich Village.

But like Mike, I know that I can still succeed in the writing and publishing world without a grad school education. But when I was asked the other day why I wanted to get my MFA, my response was simple: I want to become a better writer. I wanted to go to grad school to give myself even more time to perfect my art. I feel that four creative writing courses during my undergrad weren’t enough to get on the level where I want to be. I want two years of schooling dedicate to my writing so I can become a master. I don’t care about the title of having an MFA or being able to brag about going to grad school. I simply care about the process of becoming a better writer.

Like Mike, I have this perfect dream in mind of who I want to be in ten years from now. But even if my dreams don’t go as planned and I end up not going to grad school, I know I can still get to where I want to be; just the path there will be a little different. So thank you Pixar for putting my own life into perspective.

Now, I believe I have some studying to get to.

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