Doing Whatcha Gotta Do


In college, I went through a bit of a mid-education crisis.

I had dreamed of being a Disney animator my entire life. I went to a small private all girl’s school in Nevada, Missouri for my first two years and graduated with an Associates degree and then transferred to the University of Oregon. From there, I poked through doing my art classes and experiencing the life of a working student. I worked at a local movie theatre which worked well because I could do my classes in the morning and work later nights. For example, I was working there during Lord of the Rings: Two Towers and Return of the King both. Getting out after the final frame left the window after 2am was a familiar experience. Getting up around 6am for an 8am class was also somewhat familiar.

Then, I realized I didn’t want to be an animator anymore. I was told that I had taken the wrong classes and wouldn’t graduate for another 3-5 years because of the timing. So I had a meeting with a different counselor to figure out the quickest way for me to graduate with any degree sooner rather than later. During that time I also was offered an opportunity to work for Walt Disney World. This was the perfect release for my busy and cluttered mental state – take a semester off to travel to Florida and work for a company I loved.

In order to keep my scholarships and grants, I had to continue to take at least 8 credits. I took two courses remotely, fitting them in amongst the early mornings and long (12+ hour) shifts driving a truck for Kilimanjaro Safaris.

I moved back to Oregon after my session was finished and lived at home during the summer. I got a job at an office supply store and when fall came again, I started to wonder what I was going to do. I was so close to graduating but the thought of finding a place to live and another job made me want to cry.

So instead, I did what I had to do.

I managed to plan 24 credits of classes strictly on a Tuesday and Thursday schedule. I worked Friday through Monday at Office Depot. Wednesday I did my homework. Oh yeah, and the school I was going to? Was a two hour drive each way.

At the time, it was what I had to do. The easiest way for me to save money and get things done the way I had to do it was to do this.

I’ve realized that now, I am continuing to do what I have to do. Situations in life are always going to be difficult. You can lay down and let the semi truck of life ground you into gravel or survive. Do what you have to do to get where you want to be.

If you have to work two jobs to be able to get the capital needed to do what you dream, it’s something you have to do. Your photo editing has to be scheduled around nap time and be done  when everyone else is asleep? You are still doing it. Getting it done.

What dreams do you have? Have you written them down lately? Now, what is keeping you from that dream? What do you have to do to get to that dream? Is there something on that list of things holding you back that you are afraid to attempt?


Just do it. Just get out there, do what you have to do and get it done! You will be a stronger person and business person for getting there, I promise!

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1 Comment on Doing Whatcha Gotta Do

  1. gina dawson
    August 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm (6 years ago)

    Inspiring. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂


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