So what are you doing after graduation? – Ryan Barker

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that in the past few months, I wouldn’t even need to answer. This 1150168_10201721007054179_2062329562_nall too familiar question came up after high school graduation as well. But that one was easy:

“Oh, I’m going to Virginia Tech to study computer animation.”

4 years later, next to a half unpacked suitcase in my summer apartment sits a piece of paper that says Bachelor of Arts in Theatre.

Wait, what?


Theatre was originally planned to be my minor in college. I’d major in something I could easily get a job with while pursuing my love of theatre on the side. But after entering the art program, I was quickly surrounded by a group of people who had been drawing and painting for years. My proudest art accomplishment to date was a series of stick figure comics I drew in middle school. Not exactly art school worthy material.

So after some time and tears spent considering my options, those stupid comics came to mind. I realized I didn’t draw them to show off my artistic ability. Look at them for more than two seconds and you can understand why I was failing my entry-level drawing class at the time. I drew them to make people laugh. I remember passing the notebook around my circle of friends and being delighted when their faces lit up over the 78th fart joke I made. (Give me a break. We were 12.)

It was then that I made the decision to pursue my minor as a major. Needless to say, my last 3 and a half years of college were significantly better than that first semester.

10365596_10152070271787344_3354105396304981808_o I firmly believe laughter is the single greatest thing in the universe. The verdict is still out on other universes, but there’s no question about its usefulness in this one. It’s helped me get through tough times on countless occasions and I will stop at nothing to spread that help to everyone. Sometimes I try too hard. Just ask anyone I know. I’m sure they’ll tell you at least one time where something I said made them consider punching my delicate face. But despite the occasional joke that falls flat, I keep on keeping on.

So to answer your question, everyone on Earth: What am I doing after graduation?

I’m doing what I love.

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