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Otis College of Art and Design

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What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

First of all I would do alot of research into what schools focus on what you are interested in learning and see where they rank out of schools nationally. Alot of people just go to the school which is closest to home or where they grew up but they could be missing out on a better education because they want to be comfortable. Actually moving away from parents can make the college experience even greater because the student is likely to be out of thier comfort zone and can live the true college experience by living and studying in social situations with fellow students. Also I would aim high and apply to colleges even if you think you cannot afford it. Many schools offer a wide array of options such as grants, scholarships and loans. I came from a working class family that had no plan for my education and I was forced to do it on my own. I now stongly believe that if you focus on something that you truely want, you will get it through perseverance and hard work.

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It's hard to know what you want to do right out of high school. Many students are lost and do not have the proper work ethic being by themselves. It seems like for most students, it takes time to settle in and then they will find their passion in life and what they want to do for their future. Look at the colleges and what they offer. Visit the campus because the vibe of the campus is different and unique to its own campus. It took me two years to finally find out what I wanted to do. I attended University of California, San Diego as a physiology and nueroscience major but realized by passion was in designing. I then applied to Otis College of Art and Design as an architecture major and am enjoying every minute of it. Sometimes peolpe fall into a false illusion of their desires and then realize that that was not their passion. Settle in and really realize what your desires are if you do not like your major, change quickly to your desired topic and pursue that.

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Pick a school that has exactly what you want. Do not think about the cost. If it seems out of your price range, you can always seek different options. Make loans a final resort, since their are plentiful scholarships out there for aspiring students. My family income is less than $20,000, and my school costs near $30,000 a year on tuition alone. Thanks to scholarships I was able to lower my tuition cost to less than $2,000 a year. Also focus on the area you will be learning in, and by this I mean the city and the school facilities. Remember you will be spending years in this space, so being happy here is a must. It is also a good idea to have a solid idea of what you want to do, but do not worry if you do not. Eventually you will have to chose a path, but it is a good idea to take your first year of college to find this path. Apply to many schools as a precaution. In the end, doing what will make you the happiest is the best choice no matter what others say.

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Future Students: When thinking about attending an undergraduate program the most important question you want to ask yourself is: are you ready to dedicate and focus your time and energy into learning the foundations required for a professional practice? College is a sanctuary of knowledge and opportunity. It is important to be serious once you have made your mind and to remain focused and ambitious. The best educational opportunity comes from a dedicated mentality. Lastly, it is also important to balance yourself with space to enjoy and relax. Concerned Parents: The best advice I could give a parent is to be supportive. Nothing is stronger than the love and support of a parent. Positive attitude and understanding for the decisions of your child. Be excited about their search for knowledge, participate with them and help relief them of the stresses that revolve around these years. Financial support helps to get more out of the learning experience. : )

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It is so important to visit the colleges you are interested in...especially if you can while the school is in session. You need to be logical about things, like the cost of tuition, but also moreso job placement percentage. The thing is, you just have to feel good there. I love my school because I feel more at home here than anywhere else. The small size is what appealed to me, and students need to take these things into account. You have to be logical, but at the same time you have to go for what you want. When I first visited Otis I left the college crying because I knew I couldn't afford it. But I felt like it was meant to be, I was able to get the loans I needed. And now that the economy is in the dumps it's getting harder and harder for me to say, but I know I was meant to be here and I trust that things will just work out. You have to say to yourself "Hey, is this school worith it?" A good education always is.

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I definitely wish that I had a much stronger art program in my high school. Classes with actual substance, not just arts and crafts time with a so called ?fine artist? who hardly has a foundation knowledge themselves. And private lessons just never really panned out for me. Of the few that I had it was ?craft time? which discouraged me even more to the point where it wasn?t a strong commitment to me, because good instruction was so hard to find, I really stayed away from the private, and outside instruction. However, even if I did manage to find a great outside instructor, I am pretty sure by that time I wouldn?t of even been mature and determined enough to really devote myself over to it. It is a definite obstacle to act contradictary to your own nature. It is a really crazy thing to think about, so much of my young adult life has been affected by a decision made by an even more confused, indecisive, young me.

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To find the right college, students and parents should visit every college they are considering. This is truly the only way to know if it is the right environment for you. Start by visiting the school's webpage, check the schools ratings, talk to students on a school blog, then plan a trip. I would also recommend visiting schools earlier in your decision making process rather than later. Before I started visiting potential schools, I thought I was certain where I would be attending. When I finally visited the campus and I knew it wasn't the right place for me. Then I had to rethink all of my college plans. In the end, I couldn't have made a better decision. The research saved me time and money. Also, when deciding on the location always remember that you will make your future job connections in the same city that you attend school. This will be the place you plant your roots.

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The number one piece of advice I can give parents and students is to find the right college is to go where your passion is, follow whatever makes you happy because no matter what anyone says, the college you choose is the decision that will mark the rest of your life and the choice you make should be based on your own ambition and drive, whatever job it is that you feel comfortable doing every single day is how you should choose the right college for you. I chose college as my first choice because I knew exactly what it was that made me happy, and was sure that Otis saw what I love to do in my portfolio when they accepted me and decided to invite me to join the Otis family. I read a quote that made me realize I had chosen the right place for me, ?Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.?

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Improvement cannot occur without change. And while some changes stand out greater than others, like making the transition to college, the more trying the challenge, the more benefit to be gained. Having learned as much as I have, about living with others who were vastly different from me and some all too similar, and embracing the great freedoms and responsibilities of adulthood living away form home, I see that college is not just about what is learned inside the classroom.I would emphasize this to my high school-self: It is not healthy to grow in one direction but in all--to live a balanced life. It is crucial to nurture oneself wholly. As college boasts more bluntly, learning is extremely valuable: by guide of professors, alongside friends, in a spiritual community, in physical challenges, and next to family. Choose a college that can benefit you best in all areas.

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Look at a lot of schools. The more schools that you actually go to and see how their campus works, the better idea you get of how the campus will suit you. Once you get to college, don't be afraid to try new things and make friends that you didn't think you be friends with in high school. Feel free to reinvent yourself. You don't have to be ther person you were in high school, and don't let your personality in high school limit your experience in college. Keep your mind open to new things, in your social strata and in your academic strata. If you don't know what you're going to do, try lots of different things. If you have a lot of interests, take classes that will help you decide whether you want that interest to turn into a career. Take classes that will enhance you and make you more marketable to potential employers. Take breaks and see the world around you.

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