January 5, 2015

Why I Left Art School

Hey guys.  Well I have decided I should write a post about my decision to leave MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design).  It took a lot of time and discussing with my support system for me to reach this decision.  The first month of the semester wasn't too bad, there were things that I was like "umm... ok?" about but I figured they were just issues I'd get used to after some time.  I was wrong.  Let me start off by saying I was on an almost full ride there.  Around 84% of my tuition was paid by a presidential scholarship.  Despite this, that remaining 16% (plus additional charges) was equivalent to if I had gone to a State university in Texas on NO scholarship.  That is the thing about art schools, they are expensive, you'll have a student debt upon graduating, and the jobs you get as a general rule do not pay much.  To put it in perspective the Rhode Island School of Design, which is ranked the top art school in the country, is more expensive than Harvard. Graduates from Harvard earn around twice as much in income than graduates of RISD. I was paying quite a sum of money, and as the semester progressed I became increasingly dissatisfied with the curriculum, the classes, and how my money was being spent.  By the mid of October I was already thinking about transferring out of MCAD.  I would talk to my friends from high school whom are in art programs at schools in Texas, and they were learning leaps and bounds more than I.  Despite applying myself and attempting to learn as much as I could, the only class I truly have no complaints about and actually sparked quite an interest for me was my Art History class.  I'm someone who loves to learn, so only learning in one class is terrible to me!  I did duel credit classes in high school, including English 1 and English 2.  My English 1 transferred to MCAD, but they would not take my English 2 because it was an "MCAD specific course".  Well I thought this would mean that the curriculum is geared towards learning how to write artist statements, art reviews, or formal analysis. Nope.  It was the same course I already had, I even wrote the same essay just from a different perspective.  I later found out, we were required to take this course because the school's liberal arts accreditation hung on that one class. That sure made me feel good!  However, classes and curriculum weren't the only things I had issues with.  The school had no sort of meal plan, just a bistro that was barely open, way over priced, and served unhealthy food I couldn't eat. There was no on campus parking, therefore I either had to park on the street and worry about how bad the weather will ruin my car or pay 110 dollars a month for parking at a parking garage nearby.  If I was sick I had to drive myself to the hospital or doctor as there were very few people with cars.  The art cellar, where we had to purchase all of our supplies from was WAY over priced. Finally, the living situation was terrible!  Not only were the dorms quite expensive for the crap we were given, but there were many other problems with them as well.  I can't say too much about my dorm room life (if you have questions feel free to shoot me an email), but let me start by saying I signed up to live with three other girls, but somehow I got additional furry roommates. That's right, Mice. As I said I can't say much about my dorm life because this is public and on the internet.  Some more issues I had with the school were how rude people could be.  I had people make fun of my artwork and me in general while I was right in the other room.  I wish I had said something to them when I overheard them on multiple occasions, but I hate confrontation and honestly I was really shocked.  By the end of the semester I was incredibly happy to be leaving.  This Spring semester I'll be at a local college where I will not only be learning art skills, but basic courses that most school require. In the Fall I am currently deciding whether to attend Texas State University majoring in their Communication Design program or Texas A&M majoring in their Visualization program ( TAMU is actually a partner school to Dreamworks).  This reminds me, many people at MCAD would mock State Universities and their art programs.  I thought that was ridiculous! Not everyone for starters can afford an art school!  I can't remember who it was, but I remember over hearing someone sing this song that went "If you can't get into college, go to state school. If you can't get into college, go to state school".  I was flabbergasted! Honestly, I'm excited to be going to a university where there are traditions, people from all sorts of other majors, and sporting events.  All in all I feel like art school was a waste of a semester. I did make the dean's list with a 3.9 GPA so at least I get a car insurance discount from it all! I also made a few really great friends up there, that I hope to stay in contact with over the years. It was interesting living in the North, but I am happy to be back in the South.  The North can kiss my rebel ass!

If you have any questions regarding MCAD, please feel free to shoot me an email at michelledavistwirl56@yahoo.com

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