Zach used to have a ton of friends and they did all the stuff that boys do together - joke around in class, hang out and have sleepovers on the weekends, and get into trouble playing ding-and-ditch, crank calling girls in their class, and staying up late. It was awesome. He felt like it would last forever.
But then, when middle school began, everyone started playing team sports, and they didn’t have recess anymore; there was gym during the day and then team practice after school.
Pretty much everyone did team sports. All of Zach's friends joined teams and it was kind of surprising to him - It was like they had been waiting their whole lives, like they had a whole plan that they never told him about. But Zach didn’t want to join team sports - he loved playing, and loved running around with his friends - it wasn't like he was un-athletic or out of shape - but he just didn’t love team sports.
His friends started having practices every day after school, and games, even on the weekends, and they would all do things with their teams, always, and Zach just started staying home and playing a lot of xBox. He actually started to feel really lonely.
Things got pretty bad at school too. Zach would go join his friends at lunch and all they would talk about was the game on Saturday, or who scored the most goals and who had a sucky practice.
One time he invited them all over for a sleepover and they all said they couldn’t because of an early game the next day but that night he saw on Instagram that they were all out together having fun.
Eventually it got so bad that they wouldn’t even say hi to him in the halls. He felt totally ignored, so alone, and like a loser that didn’t fit into anything. He started feeling really bad about himself. He had lost all his friends, and there was no denying it.
Zach started staying in his room more and more, and playing hours of video games, depressed. His mom would yell at him to get out of the house, to make new friends, to turn the xBox off, but all he wanted was to be left alone.
Then one day he found a feature in one of his games that let him record the gameplay and change the angle of the camera and stuff. So, instead of just playing he started making short movies that had the characters in his game act out, then he'd export them and do the voices and add other parts from videos he'd find online. He taught himself animation, and other media arts skills.
Zach created movies whenever he could, and he got better creating more. He made online friends who let him direct them and to do voices. He showed his parents a few of them and they thought they were pretty cool.
And that’s when Zach really started getting into film and filmmaking. He read books about it, watched all the classic movies by the best and most famous directors, and it’s all he wanted to do, study films and make movies.
His mom signed him up for an after school film program where they used real equipment and learned all about how to make movies. He started making a few new friends, and slowly, started to feel like he was actually good at something.
Zach loves directing the movies they make there and feels like he has finally found what he loves to do and like he is a part of something.
Things haven’t changed much for him at school because most of the kids still only love sports and think he's weird because he doesn't. He misses his old friends of course, and sometimes wishes it was how it used to be, but he's part of something he really loves and who knows, maybe one day he'll be a famous movie director.
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