Decisions Decisions!

Lately, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my education and questioning myself whether or not I am doing the right thing in regard to my choice of major.  Many of you know, I have been going to the Community College of Baltimore County part-time since the Fall of 2009 as a Digital Photography and Imaging major.  I enrolled there, knowing that we would be moving back to Harford County at some point.  This was fine, because the program I was in was a statewide program, that would allow me to pay in-county tuition rates once I moved out of county.  Last year, this program was no longer considered a statewide program, and the rates went up.  I was grandfathered in, but the discount went from in-county rates, to a discount on tuition, but all the registration/technology/etc fees would be increased to out-of-county rates.  Basically, for 6 credits, my bill each semester went from $700 to almost $1,100.  Still a great deal for higher education, but an increase none the less.  I decided to stick it out since CCBC’s photography program has a focus on digital, and Harford Community College is stuck in the dark ages; they still focus on film photography.

Lately, I have been questioning my decision to major in photography.  I still love it, but I don’t believe I’m as “creative” behind a lens as needed to make it as a professional photographer.  My goal when I went back to school was to finish out my 30 years at Baltimore County 911 and retire, then use my education to pursue a second career as a photographer.  Lately, I have been thinking a lot about trying to change career paths before my time at Baltimore County is complete.  At this point, it would be foolish to give up the 8 years of seniority I have there and start over, but there are plenty of other opportunities in the county I could go after with the right training and education.  On top of that, I’m not really happy where I am right now.  I will continue to work as hard as I can to move up the “chain of command” and advance my career at 911, but at this point, I think it is in my best interest to see what other opportunities are out there for me.

This brings me to my current dilemma.  I am about 5 classes away from completing my AA in Digital Photography at CCBC.  After looking at the General Studies major at Harford, I am close to, or finished, the requirements for an AA degree already.  I have about 80 credits between the two institutions, and there are only 62 required for graduation.  Plus, the cost of going to Harford over CCBC is significantly less ($83/credit hour vs about $120) .   The question is, where do I go from here?  I will probably transfer to Towson University to work on my bachelors, but I don’t know what I would major in.  In my spare time, I have been reading and studying meteorology, and I really enjoy it.  Towson does offer a minor in it, so I would probably go after that, just for my own personal enrichment and knowledge.  I started school as an accounting/business administration major, so I could always get back into something along those lines.

I have too much time and money invested in photography already, so I will obviously continue to work with that as a hobby or side job at some point.  There is no way I would throw all that away.  Hopefully, once I am re-accepted at Harford and have a chance to talk to an academic adviser and see where I stand, I will be better prepared to make an informed decision.  So, it looks like I will probably be studying at Harford Community College again beginning in the Fall.  The only question left is, then what?

4 comments on “Decisions Decisions!

  1. Harry P. April 17, 2012 12:19 pm

    I got into photography at 16. I freelanced at it until I left for the service. My one buddy constantly pushed me to go into business with him in photography. But my feeling is that once it became a job, it would be no fun. And when I got back from the service it recessed into just a hobby again. He went ahead and got into it and eventually burned out. It’s hard to even get him to pick up a camera anymore.
    If you’re close I’d say – finish it. Keep in mind that 2/3 of those who get a degree in something end up doing something else. Go for what interests you and you’ll excel at it.
    Check where the deficits are in the labor market, who do they need, where do they need them? But in the end if you do something you’re happy at, life is better even if it isn’t top dollar.

  2. Katie Corin April 17, 2012 8:57 pm

    I think HCC is a great move for several reasons (time, closer to your family, less expensive, may open other doors) But to answer your last question…. Then what? My answer is cross that bridge when you get to it. Enjoy what you have now and what you are working towards but don’t plan too far out. You aren’t guaranteed tomorrow so live in the moment and go with the flow til then. Maybe, something will have popped up that holds that key you’ve been searching for. Just remember to always do your best. I know you are making your grandparents very happy!

  3. Mom April 17, 2012 9:19 pm

    Travis, no matter what you decide to do, I am so proud of you. You weren’t ready for college years ago and for you to make the decision to go back after all that time was a fabulous decision. At least you are not giving up on your college career, but continuing to plug along and better yourself. Good for you!

  4. Skye April 18, 2012 11:36 am

    I know how you feel (kinda). I have a major in Acting/Directing from Towson Univ. & realized after graduating that the business of acting wasn’t for me. Then I ended up with a job just to get by while trying to figure out what to do with my life & researching universities to apply to. Of course, I did have the band & I wished I had taken music more seriously, as now it is my love. Even still, I regret to this day not following several other career paths.
    As for meteorology: My grandfather was a meteorologist & my aunt works on weather satellites!! Meteorologists rock!!! :)

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