School is back in session and I know this is going to sound totally nuts but I really miss school. I was one of those weird kids who LOVED the first day of school! I loved having all my new school supplies, walking into a new classroom, seeing my old friends, and maybe meeting some new ones. I loved meeting my new teachers. In fact, even when I went onto a new classroom, I always made it a point to go visit every single teacher from my past years back in elementary school. I spent time with every single one of them. I seriously think my mom used to pick me up an hour late just so I could do this haha! Don’t get me wrong, I also loved the last day of school. Not because of being done and the sense of completion, but because I loved getting the year books and hanging out with my friends and getting them signed.
Even in college, I loved getting into my new classrooms and meeting my new teachers. While some times I would get a little hurried with last minute assignments or exams, I LOVED school. Honestly, if I had the money, I’d be taking classes every semester probably for life haha! I even spent some time this week browsing course catalogs of things I wouldn’t mind taking.
I will say though that one of my best experiences was definitely attending Pratt Institute for my Photography degree. It’s not because back in college, life was just easier and more carefree, but there are real things that as I’ve transitioned into adulthood and motherhood that I find myself missing about those days.
- Working the Creative Brain
Pratt really challenged you to look within yourself for WHY you do things, what is inspiring you, because knowing these things about yourself is what makes you a better artist. I can say that since I’ve graduated I really haven’t created anything. Artistically anyway. Yes, I have created this blog and this business but besides creating cosplay mobiles for comic cons, I really haven’t created much. Pratt created this environment where you are always creating. In fact you were creating so much that by time finals came by you were ready for a break.
- The People
I think it was the craziest thing going from high school to college. Especially for me who went to a small Christian school that my first days of college were mind blowing. I met people from all ages and walks of life at my community college and learned so much. I never had seen so many views on different topics that it was just the most eye-opening experience. You have professors who each one has a huge personality and styles of teaching and classmates to match. I am personally a quiet person in a classroom. I do all the work, come to every class on time, and spend all the time with my notebook open and taking notes. But what I found at Pratt was so many one liners of wisdom and sometimes hilarity that I wrote everything down even if it wasn’t class related. My notes at Pratt are almost like a journal and I’m sure I have things written down that classmates don’t even remember saying but they made me think or laugh in some way.
- Field Trips
Oh my goodness the field trips. My community college didn’t have many of these but every class at Pratt had at least 1 every semester. The people I got to meet and the work I got to see was just the most amazing thing. I think when you are on your own you tell yourself you will go do something but never end up getting there. When it’s a class, it forces you to go and see what it is. We would spend the days walking through multiple galleries and having discussions on the work. We got to go to artist studios and speak with them about their work and see some of their behind the scenes creations. I remember going to this artist’s studio these beautiful layered collage and painting pieces through glass that I just couldn’t believe how someone can picture it and make those cause I know my mind doesn’t work that way.
- Daily Inspiration
With all of these things, you get inspired in so many ways. It may be something the professor said that day, something your peer said, or maybe it was something in the reading that you read, an image you looked at. I feel like school just focuses you on this push and pull of getting in and out of your head to discover new things. It challenges you to create and do things you probably wouldn’t have done if it wasn’t an assignment.
- The Atmosphere
This is probably just a combination of everything I already said but it is so true to me. I love going to school, sitting in the classrooms, working with my hands to create, the long hours to get to further then where you’d be if you weren’t pushed to do so. I love learning new things both from the professors or from a student that might just know how to do the same thing differently. I remember one of my professors telling me the reason they love to teach is cause you get to also learn from your students and it solidifies everything you know. You get to teach them what you know as well as be inspired by them. I feel like that just makes for the best learning environment when you aren’t just another person in the room but with people who do care about you and that you get to know through your years. I love the challenge. I remember one of my Independent study classes where I was really in control of what I wanted to do, I had my professor push me in a direction I really didn’t like. I argued about how I wanted things, but he still pushed me this other direction. I can say that the pieces that came out of semester ended up really being a favorite because he taught me things I was a little stubborn to learn and didn’t give up on me.
If you are in school right now, I wish you the best of your semester! I challenge you to really listen to your professors because as I learned, there is always a little bit of something to be learned even if it is a professor or a class you might not be completely interested in. Always look for that grain of salt that can change your life.