Education

High school students are beginning to fill out their college applications, and part of that process includes deciding what major to pick. While you can always change your major once you get to school, oftentimes colleges encourage you to choose one so they can get an idea of your interests.

For those thinking about majoring in photography, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Costs add up.

It is impossible to imagine how much things cost. Film, darkroom paper, photo paper, book printing, photo books, mounting, business cards…the list goes on. As the four college years go by, it adds up. Some schools have amazing facilities (Parsons) but others do not. For those that don’t, it would be frustrating for you to have to buy all your own gear and pay for studio and scanning and developing chemistry.

2. Think outside the box.

Photography is no longer the black and white documentary 35mm it once was. From fashion to fine art, photo students are now expected to grasp, come up with, and execute concepts. Why did you take that picture? Why is it next to that other picture? Is it a series, a diptych, a stand alone? Digital, prints, or book form? Why? Be prepared to think critically.

3. Critiques will happen.

“Crits” are days when your work is hung up and people talk about it. Sometimes you can defend your work, sometimes you can’t. People will disagree or dislike your work. They will tell you what they honestly think. You can’t do anything about it. The best thing to do is to learn to take everything with a grain of salt, and to give good crits. That is the most productive thing to do. Explain what is working and what isn’t and why.

Being a photography major has its good and bad points. But as long as you love it, then it will all be worth it!

Image: Mia Domenico

Education

Deciding what college to attend can seem nearly impossible when there are so many options out there. Of course factors like what major you want come into play, but what if you’re not sure what that is yet? Here are some things to consider to make the process of choosing the best school for you a little easier.

1. Distance

A lot of us think we want to be as far away from home as possible when going to school, but make sure you seriously consider this. Being close to home may mean being close to family, but it also means being close to friends. Decide how far you want to be from the people you’ll miss. Also, consider if you plan on staying on campus or commuting, as this definitely plays a huge role in the schools you can choose from.

2. Cost

Unfortunately, college is ridiculously expensive. Check out the tuition and room and board costs for schools that you’re considering! Make sure to talk to your parents to see if they can help you with school financially. That conversation will help you figure out the amount you’re able and willing to spend on college.

3. Size

Personally, I find the idea of lecture halls pretty intimidating, so when I was looking for a school I knew I didn’t want a huge campus. Consider whether you’d rather have small classes and individual attention from teachers, or if you feel you would do better in a larger class like a lecture hall! It’s all personal preference and up to your learning style.

4. Location

Where the school is located is very important. Is it in the city, country, or a suburban area? Whatever you prefer, be sure to check out the area outside of your school. It’s always nice to be in a place where there are things to do, and especially where it’s safe when you’re off campus.

5. Extracurricular Activities

Check out the sports and clubs that campuses offer. If you’re interested in Greek Life, make sure they have chapters and houses. Also research about other activities like the school newspaper or a lacrosse team. You never know what you’ll feel like doing!

When you narrow down your options, make sure the check out the school for yourself. One of the most important things is making sure you feel at home when you actually step foot on campus.

Happy college hunting!

Image: Stephan Dann, Flickr