By Jake Horoshko

What do you want to do?

This is probably the most annoying thing a teenager can be asked. As you get older and learn to drive and take care of yourself you have to start thinking about college. When that time starts to come everyone is wondering what you want to do with your life. In reality it’s pretty crazy to expect a teenager to know what they want to do with their life when their biggest concern is their next intramural basketball game or what video game they are gonna play when they get home. Those are not the top priorities of someone who should be making major life decisions. So I said what most other kids my age said, “I don’t know.” I played sports my entire life and always intended to play football in college but I knew that my playing career would come to an end sooner rather than later. I had become so invested in sports that I thought maybe I could be a high school teacher and a football coach at the school. That was a path that many people I knew had taken and something I could see myself doing. In the back of my mind however my dream was to work with movies. While sports had become very important in my life, movies were my first love. My grandmother always tells me I learned to work the VCR before I could talk and I would watch the Toy Story movies on a loop everyday. However this just seemed too far-fetched for me to even bring up to other people, especially because my childhood home was about 5 minutes away from pure wilderness and no one I knew ever even tried to make a career in film. I was always considered the funny guy and prided myself on being the most creative person in the room. Looking back it frustrates me that I didn’t realize what I wanted to be for so long but I eventually did.

I started to come to a realization when I was 16 and I went on a vacation to California with my family. Our first stop on the trip to California was Los Angeles and we had a few studio tours planned. I am a massive fan(probably a little too big) on anything you would consider nerdy so this sounded like a dream come true. Our first trip was the Warner Brothers lot and the entire time I was in awe of what I was seeing. I saw home fronts that were used in iconic movies and shows, I saw sets that were being used just a few minutes before I was there and then I was shown the props and costumes from Batman v. Superman and I was at a loss of words. As we walked out I said to myself “I can do this.” After seeing those sets and the people working on them I realized that this was the industry I wanted to be a part of. Movies were movies that meant so much to me growing up and helped shape me as a person, so why wouldn’t I want to help create those moments for someone else? We continued on our trip and went on a few more tours and I continued to be mesmerized by what I was seeing. Countless props and locations that I watched everyday and my mind was made up, this was what I wanted to do. We eventually went home and I continued with my normal life of playing football and basketball and being a regular kid, however it felt like a small weight was lifted because I finally felt like I could answer people when they asked me “What do you want to do?”

As my college search began there were two things I knew, I wanted to study film and I wanted to play football at the highest level I could. After recruiting trips and long phone calls I decided to attend Monmouth University in New Jersey to play football and study communications. I was so drawn to the school because I was offered the opportunity to play Division 1 football for a team on the rise. However I grew frustrated being away from home for the first time and not knowing anyone. I enjoyed communications however I did not love it, and playing football was fun but lots of hard work. I decided I didn’t want to waste any of my time so I had to make a decision. Ultimately my life there did not last long as I left after one semester and I was once again looking for a college.

When I was applying to colleges the first time I was really interested in Temple University because of its high level football, location, and great film program, however I did not get in the first time around. So when I applied again I knew that was where I wanted to be. It was the only school I applied to and that made me very nervous. I eventually got in and decided to attend as a film student and not pursue football anymore. My first few weeks there were great as I loved the school, the location, and the people but I felt like something was missing. I once again decided to take a gamble and tried to get in contact with the football coaches at Temple and tried to walk on. After talking with them I was offered a spot on the roster as a walk on and was once again a student-athlete. I worked hard and had so many great experiences on the team and made lifelong memories. As someone who cried when the Eagles finally won a Super Bowl it is safe to say running out of the tunnel at the Linc is something I could never forget. However I eventually had to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life when I got a concussion during practice, which was not my first. When it first happened I’d decided I probably wasn’t going to play anymore for my health, however as I got better I decided I should play my final season of football. The more I thought about it though the more I realized that telling stories was my true passion. If anyone tells you they loved every second of playing football they are lying right to your face, especially if they played in college. I decided it was time to hang it up and focus on my passion that I eventually wanted to make my career.

Reflecting on my time as an athlete, I learned so many valuable lessons. I felt odd when I was playing because I felt a little different than everyone else on the team. I was a Division 1 football player who had aspirations of becoming a filmmaker. At the same time I felt different in my film classes because there were almost no other athletes that were studying film. At first this made me question if I was making the right decision because no one else was really like me. However I quickly realized that I was gaining experiences that no one else in my space had. This reflects me as a person and who I have always been, I have always thought about things differently than everyone else. I was always the funny creative one rather than the smart analytical one.

As my college career ends and I prepare to enter a new chapter of my life I cannot overstate how excited I am for my internship at JTWO. I know that during my time here I am getting to work with so many talented individuals on so many great and exciting projects. I cannot wait to see how my skills grow during my time here and see how much I grow as a content creator.

This project was created as part of the JTWO [INC]ubator Project. A semester long internship program built from the ground up to give young filmmakers, content creators, and all around hungry for a challenge individuals a place to stretch their creative minds while preparing them for the road ahead.

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