Two days ago I was halfway through getting a B.S. in Neuroscience. Today, I'm on my way to getting a Studio Arts B.A.
Why did I switch? The bigger question in my mind is why I even had to. Why wasn't I a studio arts major from the start?
I love art. My favorite part of summer camp: arts and crafts. My favorite part of school: Art class. Family members often received hand made gifts. I painted guitars on a pair of converse for my sister's birthday. I started a henna body art business when I was 14 and have made thousands of dollars since then. I took a pottery class this summer and loved every second. I won best in show in an art competition in high school, and second place for a self portrait. I've made candles, jewelry, painted with water colors and oil, welded, sculpted, sewn, done ceramics in high school, and tried almost every art form I could get my hands on.
So why was I a neuroscience major? Was it because I felt art was more of a hobby? Like, no college I've heard of offers a major in having fun. Maybe I didn't see career possibilities in in? Maybe I didn't feel I'd fit the traditional "artist" label, that I wasn't creative enough?
I'm honestly not sure. I just don't know how I got
through two years of something I didn't care as much about as I told myself I did. And I'm stil having doubts in my ability to major in this. So I look at these photos:
There are tons more examples of things I've done since college started, and even more from high school, before I'd put my passion on the back burner.
When I think that now my homework will be drawing and painting and taking photos and reading and writing about art, I feel.... free. And excited! I'm not dreading homework. I'm not dreading being busy. I'm looking forward to the things I will create, and the hours I will spend in the studio, enjoying every second. I've let go of the idea that somehow giving up on neuroscience is a failure. It would be more of a failure if I'd given up on art. Classes felt like punishment before.
I don't know what I'll end up doing with this degree, but I'm feeling like there are a lot of options. I don't have to try to support myself by selling art alone. I can get involved in tons of fields where artistic creativity will be needed. I feel like a million doors have opened to me! I'll have to dip into my savings a bit to cover all my supplies, but as my dad pointed out- I can give my homework as gifts!
My schedule at the start of this year:
Molecular Cell Biology
Statistics and Experimental Design
Intro to Painting
My schedule now:
Intro to Painting
Intro to Drawing
Intro to Photography
Art in Europe in the 18th Century
Things I'm stressed about:
Catching up in photo and drawing
Potential work load of three studio classes
Things I'm NOT stressed about:
Not being able to do my homework
Not enjoying my homework
HATING my homework
Being bored in class
Doing poorly on exams
Not being able to concentrate on studying
Not liking actual neuroscience
A million mandatory workshops and labs
Turning in problems sets on time
Forgetting things I've already learned
Feeling like I'm never done with work
Feeling like I can't do things I enjoy
And yet it took me two years to figure out that I should be an art major.