Viking Staffer Alejandro Nicolas
Viking Staffer Alejandro Nicolas

By Alejandro Nicolas / Staff Writer

To be frank, I never wanted to go to school. High school was murder. It was cold in the morning and I never wanted to wake up.  My senior year, I was sleeping in my car. I thought the concept of college was a complete waste of time. I was working, making good money and I didn’t see any future in it. Boy, was I wrong.

My experience with rejection began when I first was denied transfer admission to Cal State Long Beach. After spending nearly seven years at LBCC, I was surprised I didn’t get in.  I was frustrated. I transferred to Cal State Dominguez Hills for a few semesters, where I fell in love with theatre.

I eventually transferred to Cal State as a creative writing major where I finished my first novel and several short stories there. I remember the day of my graduation. I woke up late. I had a hangover and I didn’t even want to go.

I mustered enough strength to take a quick shower, comb my hair and put on half a suit and tie. I put my gown on, drove over and tried to find my department. I was so late that I walked in with the philosophy majors and found my seat.

It was a broiling morning and I asked myself, what am I doing here? It didn’t hit me until I walked up and shook the dean’s hand, took a picture and saw my mother screaming.

The adrenaline was something I’ll never forget. Tears almost came to my eyes when I realized after 10 years of college, I was finished. The pressure was on.

I took some post-bachelors classes at Cal State but soon realized I couldn’t afford it. I returned to LBCC, to polish my writing skills and began applying for graduate schools.

After two years of rejection I got an email from the department of Theatre, Film and Television at UCLA asking me to interview for the masters of fine arts in screen writing. I agreed and the interview went well.

I dressed up in a $40 suit and put on my best show. I even left a Viking newspaper to showcase my most recent writing.

A couple of weeks ago I found out that out of 500 applications, they only interviewed maybe 20 applicants and only accepted eight into the program.

I was not one of the eight. I was rejected once again. They offered me a position in the professional writers program, which in turn mimics the masters of fine arts, taught by the same professors at UCLA, which is cool.

I decided to accept their offer and try again next year.  I am moving to Hollywood in a couple months and beginning my career in motion pictures.

I never thought I’d make it this far in my education. If I would have known it was possible, I would have tried a little harder at LBCC and maybe I wouldn’t have wasted so much time.