Before my college process even began, I had always been asked what I wanted to do with my life (a question I’m sure everyone has heard). Specifically for me, people would usually ask which path I was planning on pursuing in college, a liberal arts or a fine arts education. Art has always been a huge part of my life. I went to a preschool where I learned how to play the violin, I always drew when bored, and nothing used to excite me more than going to Michaels and trying out different art materials. All of these things are still prevalent. When I started to take art more seriously by going to summer pre-college programs and taking advanced art classes in my high school, I realized that creating art is something I love doing and is what I’m most passionate about.
If you are someone who is very active in creating art I’m sure you’ve heard, “Are you really going to go to art school?” or, “Are you sure you should pursue art? You won’t have money when you’re older.” These questions always frustrated me and made me feel like my talent was useless or insignificant at times. Thankfully, my parents are strong supporters in whatever I do, so they always told me to pursue my interests, but they also pushed me to not only pursue art. This didn’t upset me, considering that I got good grades and had strengths beyond art that I wasn’t ready to give up.
I started researching for dual degree programs and immediately found Tufts’ program with SMFA. There aren’t very many of these programs out there, and the location of the Tufts joint program appealed to me the most: a main campus in Medford and an art school in Boston. I booked a visit to both campuses and fell in love.
In school, I like to push myself in whatever class or subject I’m taking. As for outside of school, my schedule is usually booked. So, when people would ask me about getting two degrees in 5 years, it wouldn’t stress me out, but instead it would excite me (as it still does).
As an artist, I like to incorporate what I learn outside of the art classroom into my works. Therefore, the idea of learning at the Tufts Medford campus and being able to apply that knowledge to pieces I will be making at SMFA is thrilling. Also, a huge bonus is that I will get to meet students from both campuses!
If you’re someone who is easily inspired to create art works after learning something enlightening, frustrating, or sad, I recommend looking into the dual degree program. If you’re someone who just can’t give up writing passionate essays about various subjects, again, I recommend looking into the program. I encourage people interested to visit both campuses, ask questions, and get a portfolio review to see if it’s something they can see themselves doing.
Although there will be a lot of responsibilities around time management, I can’t wait to join the program in the fall of 2017! You really have to trust yourself and your own ability to strive. Since I’m someone who’s passionate about the things I learn inside and outside the art classroom, I can see myself in the 5 year program absorbing loads of knowledge and being able to share that with other people in different forms of expression. I sound really nerdy, but that’s how you decide what’s best for you; if you geek out about a program or a school, I think that itself should tell you to apply there.
To sum it up, three tips are to reflect on what you value and where your strengths lie, see where you can see yourself, and trust in what you want. Good luck to anyone in the college process and to those who are stressing out about what they want to do with their life. As a starter, just pursue the education you find most interesting.