Try everything, do not shut yourself out because of problems that seemed monumental in high school but later seem like mundane details. Its the future that really matters and art is what you love, devote yourself to it and the rest will just fall into place. As I write this i realize that its not just you at age 18 going through the usuall, this is a reccurring theme that I am doing better with yet still needs to be developed even more. And one day you will be great.
You HAVE to visit the schools before you decide and it wouldnt hurt to find people currently enrolled, on facebook or something so you can talk to them. If your not comfortable when you visit you wont be happy when youre going to school there. you should also live on campus with a room mate your first year so you know youll always have someone around to get to know and its easier to participate with on campus things and get to know more people
If I were to go back in time to talk to my self a year ago I would say this. Do not be afraid to express yourself to others. Showing insecurity and unconfidence in yourself will get you nowhere. Be proud of who you are and what you choice to do in the future. Don't let harsh words from others get to you or in the way of your passion. The road is bumpy ahead, but if you pull yourself together and believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything.
Apply, Apply, Apply for scholarships. We all hear our teachers this to us in our final moments of out high school careers. Its not as if I was not listening as I had a applied for scholarships. The problem being that I only recieved a small portion of the ones applied for. Unfortunately it is not nearly enough to pay for college. Simply take the scholarship application process seriously and when you think you have had enough, push for more.
I feel incredibly honored to be a part of this magnificent collegiate experience. The teachers are professional but exceptionally personable, the students outgoing and creative, the campus beautiful and well-kept, and I wouldn't trade this oppurtunity for any other. I have developed many skills and techniques that will help me carve out a happy and successful career, the likes of which I would never find anywhere else.
At Ringling School of Art and Design I have been able to get the one-on-one attention and instruction that I need with amazingly qualified professors. I am only in my second semester and i have grown as a photographer so much more than i though I would have. Ringling has already started to open doors for me and my career. It is a great school that is well ahead of most art schools in the country.
make sure it has what you are looking for in terms of the area, classes they offer, food, etc. also look at where people go once they graduate from that college and if you are interested in where they work than that college could be a good fit for you. and i know most times people say you dont need a car freshman year: that is a lie (depending on the area obviously.)
Don't procrastinate and think that you have the time, because at the end of the day, you will focus on the project and not the details. But details are what makes the difference from a good work, to a unique piece. And maybe take yoga classes... you'll need it to manage the stress which can be a huge load on your shoulder, especially after high school.
My advice is to look outside of your comfort zone or box I would say. Look at colleges all around the country. Take time to research them and visit there campus. You'll know when you go visit if this will be your next chapter in your life. You'll feel that comfort and spark in your body when you know which college is right.
If I could go back in time I would tell myself to never give up. I would never mention the fact that I got excepted into my dream college or the fact that I'm doing what I love. I would simple tell myself to continue doing art and what I love and not to listen to anyone cause in the end what I love will pay off.