Considering transferring to a different college (possibly for art): suggestions/advice on where to go/what to do? How to build a portfolio? Transfer tips?
posted by SputnikSweetheart to Education (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm currently a first-year at a women's liberal arts college. It's not that I don't like it... my classes are interesting and my professors are wonderful. But the selection of courses is kind of limited by the size, and despite the availability of cross-registration, it's making me wonder about my ability to really decide what I want to do when one of my main interests (Photography) isn't even offered here.
Additionally, I'm here on a GPA conditional scholarship, besides racking up considerable debt, and the financial pressure is really taking it's toll on my mental health. The general atmosphere here is very high-achieving, and that has never been my style. I will put in time and effort to things I enjoy (namely creative writing, studio art and photography) but I tend to put off my other subjects and do a half-assed job. I know this is something I could change about myself, but to be honest, I don't see why I should. I have a lot of probably silly opinions about the educational system in the U.S. and our system of values as a society, but I'll save them for another time.
My main problem is (and it's one I should have considered before choosing a liberal arts college, instead of just taking my mom's word for it that that was the only way to go) I don't see the need to excel in, say, history and a language and math and science, when I don't see a future career in any of those. I want to do what I love, especially if my future self will be paying dearly for it (and oh, she will be).
So, in considering transferring, I'm thinking of either a state school in my home state (because it would be either free or very very cheap, and I would have a greater variety of classes to choose from in my desired subject area) or an art school.
The art school concern, for me, is that I was never really encouraged by my family to pursue art as a possible career (for example, I wanted to apply to the magnet high school for the arts, but my mom absolutely refused on the grounds that it wouldn't be academically challenging enough) so I have only taken Photo 1 & 2, A.P. Art History (which I passed, but probably not by enough to impress anyone) and private watercolor classes in middle school. I paint and sketch on my own, and take pictures every chance I get (I may finally get a DSLR soon, as it is I used to use a film SLR that belonged to my mother and I use a friend's Nikon D40 on occasion). I'm also very interested in sort of illustrative lettering and collage.
I know I would need to build a portfolio - would I need a separate portfolio each for photography and paintings and drawings, or could I combine different media? I had an art teacher who said you couldn't call a painting or drawing your own if it was drawn from a picture that you didn't take yourself - many of my best sketches are. Can I include these or are they considered unprofessional? Any other advice or definite "Don'ts"?
I'm also terrified of the logistics of transferring should I actually be accepted somewhere else. I know as long as I am receiving an education somewhere I won't have to make payments on my loans, but are there other financial things to consider? I know the art college option could possibly be almost as expensive as my school now (which costs about 36K a year with tuition and fees now, with, naturally, a tuition hike next year)... are schools typically just as generous with financial aid to transfers as they are to first-years, or is it more of a "you get what's left" situation. My family does not contribute to my college, and my mom has already told me she won't cosign on any future loans because her credit is maxed.
And since I have just begun searching for schools, if anyone wants to recommend a school I may not have heard of, I'm open to suggestions! I can receive in-state tuition in Florida and maybe Colorado (my father lives there, but he's not on my birth certificate, so he would have to be added in time) and I currently live in Atlanta and really don't want to leave that sort of city environment.
Any advice is appreciated, but to clarify, I am not totally set on transferring... I just want to know what steps I need to take to have it as an option for next year and make myself an attractive candidate to an art school. I am not just giving up on this school, and I will try to make my next semester work. There are many things I love about it and I don't want to just "quit"... but at the same time, I have never felt so much pressure in my life, and it's just not working for me now.