I am not one to say never but right now it is looking highly unlikely that I will attend some form of film school in this lifetime. Back when I was just starting out my A-Levels, I remember trying my best to talk to everyone, as I hated being the new kid and desperately wanted to find where I fit in, and overheard one blonde haired girl (who 10 years later is still one of my best friends) say that she was taking not only English Literature, Music and Art but Media Studies as well.
Being someone who had studied in Nigeria for the previous 6 years, I had never heard of this "Media Studies" subject and so I was left a little confused. I vaguely remember her explaining what it entailed but it wasn't until I saw her in the common room (yep, I went to a boarding school that was, let me assure you, NOTHING like Hogwarts) watching an old, can-this-be-really-classed-as-visual-effects episode of Doctor Who as part of her homework (!!). Now, as a seasoned teenage film and TV show consumer whose parents literally had to cancel their cable subscription for 6 months because their daughter with deteriorating eye-sight was practically glued to the television screen, I was flabbergasted that someone had managed to find a subject where watching TV qualified as grade-worthy work. I had no idea what this Doctor Who she was watching was but I sat down beside her, watched the show - which later became the TV programme that connected us until David Tenant had the grand idea to leave; she carried on watching whilst I still have not yet recovered from the decision (I have not yet watched the last episode of that "dark" season) - and looked forward to the times where we'd discuss every episode we saw together. That was the first time it ever occurred to me that one could study film at school. Sadly, I was well entrenched in the pathway leading to some sort of science-oriented career that I did not seriously (and confidently) investigate studying film at university level any further and continued being content with watching what others were making.
Fast forwarding 10 years or so, you can now find me eagerly and regularly reading film and TV production related books and blogs - effectively, albeit slowly, teaching myself the ins and outs of this filmmaking malarkey. One website that has collated a series of interesting tidbits, tips and tricks that I am perusing more and more every week is No Film School. Just today, I came to learn about the free online animation course by Pixar in collaboration with Khan Academy called 'Pixar in a Box' which got me itching to learn more about animation again. I won't lie, when I discover the utterly, jaw-dropping cool ways science and math is used in animation or live action stuff it makes me a little sad that I did not try harder to look into more different ways the subjects I love(d) could be utilised. Anyway, I don't regret studying Chemical Engineering (except when I relive a couple of my Thermodynamics & Engineering Mathematics exam days *shudders*) I only wish I had used my free time a lot better so that I would be further along my personal 'No Film School' journey by now. But no matter, I am pleased at how my free time is being better spent now ;)