Dare I say… If I could turn back the clock, this is where I would have been for either Undergrad or Grad School.
The next best thing would be to work here. Every undergraduate student I have had the pleasure of meeting not only has their own personal style but seems to be very comfortable with even the slightest bit of indecision regarding their plan of study or long-term career goals.
This is not to say that they seem “flighty” or unfocused. But more-so comfortable with staying open to any opportunity – both academic and professional – that would ensure a well-rounded undergraduate experience.
There can be a lot of pressure or expectations for a student – even in their first year, to literally have a 5 or 10-year plan in place, dotting every “i” and crossing every “t”. I think that’s fine for the student who is fairly certain of what they want to do – be a doctor, lawyer, or. . . teacher. (It’s 2014 and being politically correct is a must. So yes. . . “teacher” not what they used to say.)
But the student who is creative and no doubt talented at many things needs time. Structure, as well. But there is a difference between providing structure and imposing restrictions that are both limiting and confusing to someone who simply wants to use their talents to make a difference in the world – and get paid for it. Maybe not the six-figure salary many dream of… But paid nonetheless.
Having a creative mind is expensive. After the internships – many of which are unpaid, buying books, supplies, and quite honestly maintaining a healthy social life, there’s not much left over for the reality of paying bills and eliminating debt.
I so admire and love to see young people who have embraced the road-less-traveled. It inspires me to stay focused and when necessary fearless.
Check out Shop Columbia, a boutique featuring original art and designs of current students and alumni. I have only visited once and cannot wait to go back. I snapped a few pictures but next time, it’s time to try-on and purchase some clothes.