I hear ya.
When I finally got around to getting a degree in my late 30's, I went for Fashion Design. Every single other person in class was an 18-25 year old woman who thought they could draw bad pictures and hand them to someone else to actually draft a pattern, cut it out of material, and ... ya know ... SEW it together!
So I focused on drafting and construction skills. Fuck drawing. Anyone can do that. Trade skillz are hard and people will pay you for a garment, while nobody will pay for a drawing of a garment.
Learned to use industrial sewing machines. Thread a serger properly. Replace needles. Lube and oil and service the equipment. Learned all the tricks to drafting an armscye so a garment fits properly over the shoulder, neck, chest, and arm hole. And how bodies change as they get bigger, and which measurements actually increase as the garment's size increases. (Hint: people don't get equally fat of muscle-bound over their whole body. Fat pools in certain places. Muscles bulk differently in the legs and chest.)
So I bought an industrial straight-stitch machine ($350) and an industrial serger ($750) for home, so I was using the same equipment I would be using out in the real world.
Everyone else bought a $75 Bernina from JoAnn Fabrics, that is about good enough to sew through tissue paper, if you have a sharp enough needle.
I bought a French Curve ruler. And several pairs of Fiskars scissors, each for a different material.
All-in, probably $1500 in materials for a class that was what... $12k?
People looked at me like I was crazy for actually using the tools I would need to have experience with when I graduated.
Note that almost every single one of my classmates drove to school in an Audi, Escalade, BMW, or other vehicle, and had the latest cell phone, $200 shoes, and the finest set of Pentel drawing pens (a gift from Daddy, no doubt).
But actually learn the TOOLS OF THE TRADE they claimed to be interested in?!? Oh gosh no! That's so expensive!