Expand Your Creative Energy in an Environment That Fits Your Style
Student life is such an important part of the college experience. When you’re choosing a school for its academic merits, be sure to look into the opportunities it provides for social growth and networking. Finding a school that can give you the education you want and the creative environment you need, can put you on the path to a bright and creative future.
But with so many options out there, how do you know which school will best fit your needs?
There are a number of ways to pick up on the vibe of a potential art school, college, or university. The best – though not always the easiest – is to visit the school and see how it feels. While visiting, you can sit in on classes, talk to students and teachers, see student work, and get a first-hand look at the way students live and learn. Some schools also allow you to stay with a current student, giving you an even more insightful view of campus atmosphere – everything from living arrangements to trying out the cafeteria food.
Being on campus provides a great opportunity to experience a school’s student lifestyle. As you plan your visit, with the help of an admissions representative, you might request that you talk to members of student clubs affiliated with your desired course of study. When scheduling your visit, don’t be afraid to ask to plan your stay around the events, club meetings, or classes that are important to you. The flexibility with which your requests are met may be a key indicator to how accommodating the school will be, should you become a student there. An open door policy to prospective students shows that a school is welcoming and interested in helping you to make the right decision for your future.
Depending on your extracurricular interests, you may wish to inquire about opportunities to join sports teams, a yearbook committee, or student run newspaper. Becoming a part of these types of clubs is helpful in building your experience and your circle of friends.
If visiting a school is not an option due to time constraints or distance, another way to learn more about student life is to visit the school’s website and check out information on upcoming events and student clubs. Does the school have an active social scene for students? Does it help new students to network and build a life outside of the classroom? Understanding the social environment can be helpful in deciding if the school is right for you.
While you’re online, you might also want to search for information on the city where the school is located. See if there are cultural or professional organizations that will help you to inspire your creativity. Sports teams, museums, theater, and other arts organizations provide great opportunities to relax after a busy day in the classroom – and depending on what you choose to study, local arts organizations might be great places to pursue internships during your time in school.
Blogs and social networking sites are also useful tools when it comes to learning more about student life at a particular school. These first-person accounts of the campus atmosphere and creative environment can be very insightful. By reading blogs or comments posted on social networking sites, you’ll discover things about the school that only an insider would know. This can be especially helpful if you are having a difficult time choosing between two seemingly similar schools. Just be cautious about comments that seem over the top – either negative or positive. Like all information on the web, you don’t necessarily know who is writing it. Use the comments you find to create a list questions you’ll later ask an admissions representative at the school.
Talking with an admissions representative can provide beneficial insight into the campus atmosphere, especially if you’re unable to make it to campus. An admissions representative can answer questions about what student life is like, whether the school is a sprawling campus or contained within one building, housing options, and student activities. It’s important to voice all questions and concerns you have about the school and listen carefully to the representative’s responses. If you finish the conversation and don’t feel like you received the answers you needed – or that the school just doesn’t meet your expectations – it might not be the right fit for you.
Knowing that you want a creative education is a great first step in planning for your future. Be sure that the school you choose can support your personal growth through student life that allows you to live and learn in a creative environment. Whether it’s a student movie night, on-campus housing with other creative people, or clubs that help you to build your creative experience, student life shapes your experiences outside the classroom, and should be an important part of your choice of school.