Otis College of Art and Design Top Questions

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

Janet

After going through a few years at Otis College of art and design, I would tell myself to trust the timing of your life. Going into college, we all worry about internships and job placement, but just know, that if you work hard and focus on one thing at a time, opportunities will come if you seek it out at the right time. Also, don't forget to have fun along your college journey- my dad passed away just before my last semester of college, and I told myself that it is OK to take a break from my crazy schedule for myself. I stopped interning and let myself focus on school, and begin the process of being able to go forward from my loss. The reality is, life does not stop for anyone, so don't fret about the future so much. Stop along the way to saturate your life with experiences as well.

Hana

I was a great high school student—I always did my homework, I did well on tests, I respected my teachers, and I was even Valedictorian of my senior class. But I was also reckless and did less than I could to better my future. If I could go back and talk to my high school self, I would tell her to go above and beyond expectations: to do more than was expected of her. I would tell her to get a job and save up for college; to avoid unsafe behaviors because none of it was ever worth it; to be more involved in her school and community since the world is a big place and she should be involved in it. I would tell her not to waste time being around people who didn't accept her for who she is, because after high school those people just fall away. I would tell her to challenge herself to be the best she can possibly be.

Deanna

Don't waste your time with trying to like everyone. You're all adults now, if someone doesn't like you, or if you don't like them, tkae it with a grain of salt. You don't need to appease them, and they don't need to appease you. Find people you want to be around you. You'll thank yourself later.

Tracy

College is not just for the purpose of getting a degree. Having a degree will without a doubt open doors and help get you jobs. However, just as important is what the degree is in. I didn’t realize how important the subject matter of my degree was. In my previous degree, I spent the first two years completing all liberal studies. Then when my upper division classes hit, I just picked a degree and did it. I was obsessed with checking classes off the list and getting out fast and without four years. Once I received my BA, the shock hit: what-on-earth can I do with this degree that I actually want to do for the rest of my life? I was so focused on the end result that I didn’t spend anytime exploring what I was actually passionate about. In fact, I was so strict with myself that I didn’t even take one single art class. Now, four years after getting my first BA, I am at art school working towards a BFA in a subject I LOVE. So, I would tell my senior self to explore classes and options!

Elizabeth

I would go back and tell myself to continue the hard work. Hard work pays off a lot even if you are struggling with something, you can go much farther if you try really hard at it. Spending more time with friends allows for more memories and more connections with them when you start to drift away from each other in college. Finally, don't worry about what people say or if your the best, if you like what you are doing and you're doing your best, that is just perfect.

Jaewon

Work harder and don't slack off. I'm from the future and I know what your're going to go through. Follow your dreams and make it come true. When you do that, you'll be famous in the future.

Lillian

Hey it’s me, I’m you in 7 years! As hard as things may seem, please rest assured that you're growing up to be a strong young woman. The best advice I’ll give you is to not be swayed by negative comments or the pressure society puts on women. Hold onto your goals, do the best you can, there’s no need to be perfect. Every time it feels like the world might end, just remember “The darker the night, the closer the dawn.”As long as you remain focused on your ambition, to lay the foundation of your life, you’ll do just fine. Impressing that boy in high school may provide momentarily happiness, but the value you’ll gain through education is irreplaceable. Never let anyone tell you that you’re not smart or that you aren’t capable of success. Dreams that seem almost too big are just the right size for you.Oh and if you do end up making a few mistakes, don’t fret. They'll just lead you to where you are now and life is looking great from this end; we have so much to be thankful for.

AnnaMaria

Do not be intimidated by those who are better than you: there will always be someone better than you no matter how good you may think you are. Just do your best, and learn as much as you can while you are school, since you will not have this opportunity again. Always work hard and do not give into temptation to be with others who would prefer to slack off; they are a waste of your time, money, and learning experience. There will be those who will put you, your work, and your life style down, but always remember that you are the product of your upbringing, and you were accepted into this school for a reason, which is something to always be proud of.

Esther

My experience at Otis College of Art and Design is one that I would describe as somewhat of a boot camp. First year, you relearn all of the basic techniques that you thought you've mastered in your previous training field. Your high school art class. Your second year, you've decided which field to specialize in because you have the most interest and knowledge in that field. But during your first session of training, you realize that you know nothing. Your third year, you feel like you know enough to not have to listen to anyone else's ideas. You just have to wait another year to show the rest of the world your ideas. Then, finally your fourth year. Just when you think you have the world at your fingertips, everything changes. You start to get nervous. As you start to cry, you realize that your classmates are in the same position as you. You will not be alone when you go out to the real battlefield. That's when your tears turn to thankful ones. Thankful that you got to experience the best 4 years of your life with the best troop you've met.

John

Attending Otis College was the biggest eye opener for me, as it put me in a place of serenity, and made me feel like I was that young boy again drawing ninja turtle characters. Of course I had to practically relearn all drawing concepts once again, but it was the need and excitement to learn that kept me going. At this point, I was determined to become an illustrator, set on a communication arts major in illustration. But I made friends who were determined to go into Digital Media, and this automatically transported me back to my original goal of working in the computer field, with art and drawing with computers as the cherry on top. Could this be any more perfect? Meeting all the teachers and hearing their industry stories were so insightful and promising for us all. Otis is not just an Art school to me, but a place where I can find my true self and has become very therapeutic. I can honestly say that throughout all my experiences, tough times and good, my current experience in Otis is something I would never change for anything, as it has changed me.

Alex

I have gotten a broader sense of the possibilities of my potential in this world. Have had my eyes opened to some of the various adventures, obsticles, and challenges people go through everyday. It has been valuable to attend because it is also developing my brain to learn more material in shorter amounts of time and more valuable. To comprehend more knowledge and being able to adapt to more situations and more diverse situations.

Tiffany

When I first started college, I assumed it was a commitment that I should complete just to receive a degree. However, during my attendance, I discovered a completely different experience that undermined my expectations. My initial stance was monotonous days filled with lectures, tests, and of course never-ending research papers. On the contrary, my college days were more unique than anything else. Every class was a new experience that was challenging but very enjoyable. Assignments were engaging, not just yes or no answers. But college didn?t just stay in the classroom. Activities went on throughout the entire semester, and there were clubs that fit all of my interests. I didn?t have to abandon any of my hobbies just because I was a full-time student. During my journey, I learned things I never knew about myself, including realizing my passion for art. This can be attributed to the numerous choices and options made available. My college experience was invaluable because it helped me develop and grow as an individual all while gaining extensive knowledge. I was able to achieve my goals, establish new ones, and create memories that will last a lifetime. The experience was truly rewarding.

Adriana

I have gotten the energy out of my college experience to push my life into the next phase. I feel I experienced so much positive learning that it will be carried into my career and future milestones. It was valuable to attend OTIS because it has given me the knowledge to believe in my ideas and myself.

Ivan

College has become an enormous foundation during my journey as a future educator. The values it has taught me are unmatched. This organization has encouraged responsibility as well as desire for success. It has helped me rise to the occasion when I least thought possible. At the same time it pushed my ability to learn above and beyond. The interesting thing is that this incredible transition occurred at a junior college. I can only imagine how much the tasks and trials at a 4 year university will build my character even more. While here, I also started to value diversity substantially. I realized that no matter what their background, religion and even race, the students were a part of me. These classmates like me, were all part of a body (the institution) driving their intellect to gain the highest merit and at the same time, to benefit the institution with a rich cultural variety. However, the value I hold most from this experience is the ability to believe in myself. This includes realizing that although I came from a poor and uneducated background, I can break the chains of that norm and achieve more.

nicole

i go to a 2 year community college and i havent got alot out of it i have met alot of new people and i have leared alot about college. And what i wanna do for the rest of my life . But next year i wanna go to a 4 year university and get to experance the college life like i should of rite out of high school but to do that i need houseing money college can be a blast and educational at the same time

silvia

I have discovered a lot about who I am during my first year of college. I've realized what type of passion I have for art and where I wish to see myself after I graduate. I've learned alot about art history and the way art affects our world and our future. I've also learned a lot about sustainability and how art can help sustain our society and help others.

Pauline

Through the school years in this college, you have to stay focused and work hard! Be creative and be healthy unless you want to go to emergency because you might faint from not getting enough sleep.

Aida

A warning to my high school senior self, would start with a lesson on time management. I would encourage myself to practice better study habits, be more organized and devote myself more to my art and school life. My high school senior self hardly knew what to expect from college. The transition from high school work to college assignments, especially in an art school is something I would warn myself about. So much more is expected from you as a student in college rather than what is expected from a kid trying to graduate. I have learned so much in my first semester of college. I would tell my senior self to be ready for intellectual growth. Professionalism is an aspect in college that I would greatly wish to warn myself of. As an artist in high school I prided myself in being creative and spontaneous. At Otis I was taught to be more mindful and logical with my art and message. A heads up to my high school senior self would be, "Get ready for change, knowledge and a brand new educational adventure."

Theresa

Going back in time to a year ago, I would find myself frantically juggling college applications, SATs, portfolio preparations, and school work. I would give that pitiful girl of my past advice suggesting to apply only to my current school so that she wouldn?t have to waste so much money just on the application process when she could just use that money on her textbooks and school supplies. Without having to apply to so many colleges, she would have also been able to have some time to spend with her friends, who would all be attending schools far away from her in the next year. The last advice I would give her is that she should try to enjoy every bit of the last year of high school, because I regretted how the last year of high school is only a blur for me.

Daisy

If I had the opportunity to do this, the best advice I could give myself would be to relax. Selecting and finding a school, and worrying about financial aid can be stressful. There were many students who didn?t know if they could afford to go to college, and I was one of them. One of the biggest problems for me was money, and not knowing about the options out there. Financial aid, student and government loans are available to students who need that extra help. So if I could go back in time, I would tell myself not to let money be stressful, because there is always a way to work it out.

Jessica

To high school students, I would recommend that first, you follow what your heart tells you in terms of what you want to do with your life. Do not follow what your others may want you to do, but seek out your interests and ambitions. Take as many different courses as possible, in order to achieve a broad view on academics and life. If you do not know what you want to do with life, this will help to discover your passion. It will also ultimately help to broaden your horizons. Seize every opportunity presented to you and follow through with them, giving your 100%. If possible, take a summer to study abroad in a foreign country, you will never get a chance to do it again. Soak in everything. Do not be afraid to seek help when you are struggling or speak up when you don't agree with the discussion. Never give up. Even when you find a bump in the road, find a way to get over it and move on. Make time to enjoy your surroundings and embrace college life. College can be one of the most memorable and life changing experiences, if you let it.

khanh

If I have a chance to go back in the past, I still keep my decision on Otis College of Art and Design. I love art, eat art, sleep art and all that I want to be at Otis College of Art & Design. Trying the best to be out standing and dreaming about the future with good career in art.

alfredo

Life is so short. If i had the chance to go back i would focus on my studys listening to my parents and work harder.

Major

Marquita, Pay attention and focus on this important information it is the key to your future and dreams. A door can be easily open to you with the right mind and heart so don't mess this up!!! Turn the television off, get your head out of the gossip magazines and read that book you have been carrying around in that bacckpack of yours!! It will ALL pay of young lady TRUST ME. Don't let your friends lead you in the wrong path. They may have their own incintive so be an excellent example of a positive student ready for what life has to offer. Be open to new positive opportunities!! It's a beautiful world...someone has to explore it.

Christopher

College is only worth while because I put my the time and effort into it, and for that, I am a part of a strong community. I would tell myself to grow up a litte, even though I tried to act mature, god knows I did not try. I would also tell myself to have more fun, to enjoy life more because when college comes, there will be no time, especially at an art school. Also, had I tried harder, my grade point average would not be so low and I would have gotten more opportunities to a scholarship. I use to think high school was a joke but it is sort of like an exercise to a successful path.

Rachael

I would tell myself this: "Going through everything I have gone through, meeting all the people that I have met, and learning everything that I have learned in the past six years I can tell you with complete confidence that I really don't know much about what I want to do for the rest of my life any more than you do. The comforting side of that statement is that it is ok. The things you do need to do is follow your passions because they keep you alive and motivated. At the same time, be practical, because it will keep you grounded and realistic. Be open to everything and never let bias and narrow mindedness interfere with your open and critical thinking. This is how you grow. Also, you have access to school services, USE THEM. Never be afraid to ask questions, because I know you have them. The only stupid question is the one you failed to ask because you thought it was stupid. These are the fundamentals I can tell you about making it through college and getting the most out of that experience; That, and of course, work hard. P.s. Apply for scholarships."

Natalie

I think that going to a school like Otis requires a student who is dedicated to doing work. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone going to college with a social experience in mind. Otis is fantastic when you are prepared to get down to business, but I am so thankful for my previous year at Texas Christian University. While I attended TCU, I joined a sorority, lived out of state, went to football games, and of course attended classes in a fairly large university setting. These are life experiences that I highly value and would not recommend skipping. I do not consider it a waste of money, time, or effort as I recieved transfer credits, and in that year I grew a lot as a person. When the time came, I knew I needed to be at a design school if I wanted to be successful in the fashion industry. So my best advice would be to follow your heart. Now is the perfect time to test things out so that you can find yourself, and you will discover where you need to be in order to set a path that will take you toward your goals in life.

Amelia

I graduated high school in 2004, and my mindset then was completely opposite of my mindset now regarding my future and the participation of a college education within it. As a high school senior I was a salmon swimming upstream not caring about taking SAT's or applying to prestigious schools. To me, the rest of the students were like hamsters running on wheels, doing what seniors were "supposed" to do, stressing out, getting pats on the back for good scores and acceptance letters; how good could you make the high school look? I chose to be an outsider to this ritual and participate minimally being the stubborn and headstrong person that I was and to some degree still am. Believing that college is about process rather than an end result, I spent 4 yrs in community college, which was essential to my realizing the value and purpose of a higher education and its relevance in my life. I would advise myself to continue following my own beliefs rather than going through the motions of what is expected. I made the right decision, and now like a ripened fruit, have grown into a new vision of my individuality.

Isaac

If I could go back and advice myself about college life, it would be that I need to know how to manage my time better in the future. For the career/field that I am about to go into, it demands alot of time inside and outside of school. Besides that, there isn't much to worry about, because its going to be something that you always loved doing. There's alot of support at school that encouges you, and aknowledges you as a student, but more importantly, a possible employee in the field. This is a very professional school, and you need to prepare to work at a professional level.

kim

I would tell myself : This is the real deal!!! your gpa matters. get your money's worth and WORK YOUR ASS OFF!!!! As for being social and partying, it seems exciting but trust me, it gets old fast. Focus on school, there will always be time to party later in life.

Jennifer

Go straight into college right out of high school, do not take a break. If you get a full time job and start getting paid you will not want to stop working to go to school. If you start early you can finish early to do all the fun stuff you want to do, but with a real job and real pay. Also to maintain a high GPA from the start so that later when you are trying to apply for different schools and programs GPA is not a set back. It is easy to bring down but hard to get it back up. NEVER QUIT or break until you are where you want to be no matter what.

Tritia

I would tell myself that the path I took was not the greatest, but it really did help me to figure out where I was going and what I was doing with my life. I would also tell myself to keep an open mind in all of my classes, and that although things might seem a little odd and might have nothing to do with the real world, I can learn some very important lessons from them. I would tell myself that not everything is straight forward in this world, and that I need to figure out different ways to finish a project so I can come up with my own style and my own path. I would also tell myself not to worry too much, that things will work out as long as I keep my head up and continue to work hard.

caitlin

To apply to EVERY SCHOLARSHIP EVER>

james

I would say, hey slacker wake up! After getting my attention I would proceed to tell myself that if i had just thought for a second that I was paying for school and not my parents, I would probably pay more attention in class. After I went to college and paid my own way I started to show up to every class and participate. My grades were dramatically changed for the better and I was excited to be doing so well. If I could have thought this way in high school I might have gotten into Yale.

Judith

I don't think I would give myself advice about going to college. I loved coming into the experience with no expectations and just going through it one day at a time. The struggles I faced helped me grow and learn about myself and how to live on my own. My experience is probably different than most since I went to an art school and the transition is pretty easy. The pople here are great and easy for me to relate to and everybody was here ready to help. If I had to say something to myself I would just tell myself to go for it and trust my gut instinct on situations and work hard and try my best like I know I always do.

Gerald

Take less classes so you'll have more time to make artwork and keep in touch with your classmates.

Kaylyn

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.

Bryce

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.

Alexandra

I would really think about what it is I wanted to do that realistically I could support myself on after college.

HAE-MIN

When you enter college, do not have high hopes. You will be disappointed once you see how hard it is.

Melba

The advise I would give my past self is to not stress, that stress is wasted energy and can be used for something productive. Another piece of advise would be not to procrastinate, even though there are times that it cannot be helped. What I've learned from going to Otis College of Art and Design, is that students are trained to be prolific and skillful artist. And in the beginning it's only natural to be intimidated by the different levels of skill. Other than that, college life has been good so far, I have learned how to manage my workload and create a perfect balance between my school and social life.

Eunsoo

Being sociable is the most important to be successful in high school. Of course, academic success is also needed, but success in life cannot be determined through how successful a student is in scholastic marks. Instead of spending much time to focus only one's own benefit, such as the school records, to help people is more valuable. However, laziness kills one, and disregarding school work is deserting a student's duty. If there is any chance to step forward, it is required to take the opportunity even if there are endless challenges. Trying something that one has never experienced brings one to see more of the world. Do not be lazy, and be sociable. Do not afraid to take the challenges.

Adrian

Take things seriously even if you think classes are pointless- you'll never know what you can learn if you keep an open mind!

Howard

always keep in mind about the environment where you and your child is going. school is important but the surrounding is extreamly important as well. so college tour is a must thing you should do during your senior year in college.

Charea

When it comes to finding the right college, it is good to start with true honesty about the student. Talent is one thing, but passion is what is needed to make the best of something. College is not to find what a student is good at, it is for a student to find what will make the future enjoyable, a successful career. Many people make the mistake that I made with my first choice of college. I went for a college that I felt that would be simple for me because I could do the work. Spent a year going for what I was good at because I thought my passion was too irrational. I left that school and now I attend Otis. Now I know how irrational I was from the beginning with my first choice. My big advice is to be truthful and understanding of what it is that the student wants for the future, not what seems rational. There are so many people that make the world go around, a student should never be shy about expressing what he or she wants to do in college. It might actually be something that turns out to be great.

John

support your kid honestly in whatever it is they want to do, recognize thier talents and weaknesses, and apply that to how you support them. and enjoy college while you can. be driven. its over before you know it

Christan

Look carefully at the choice of courses, envoirnment, and the financial ability to succssed. Ask yourself why you want to go to school. A two year, four year, or privite college, which one is going to give yo what you want and estimate the amount of time you need to attain your degree.

Rachel

First of all, the student should seriously look at themselves and consider what it is they want to do. It should not be about what their parents want them to do, because then they will truly not put forth their best effort. Then the student should think about if they want to commute or if they want to live on their own. Once that has been settled (and talked about with the parents... unless the student is going to pay for everything on their own), then start looking and asking around. The internet, books, and other people's experiences are good sources. As for making the most of the college experience, it depends on where you decided to go and where your focus is. Sometimes it's a more challenging balance to find, but try to make the time to enjoy yourself through (or during) the work. Put your all into everything so you can be proud of your accomplishments. There will be sacrifices, and that's when you think about the end result and your commitment to that future you want. Try to use every resource the school provides! The experience doesn't come around twice.

jacobo

Take your time with your future. Don't just rush into a school right after high school just because it seems like the right thing to do. Sometimes waiting a year to figure out your passion, or just to mature is the ight thing to do. I went staright into a great school with a very generous scholarship, but because I wasn't quite ready, I messed it all up and it took me a while to recover and get back on track, not to mention the fact that scholarships became harder to come by.

Margolit

Try to narrow down what your child wants to do in life . Do not discourage them, whether it be art or dermatology! You will be surprised how successful someone can be in any field .

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