I know it was only a few short years ago but it’s hard to imagine a time before Fontbonne. Yet I can still remember some of the fears and anxieties I had about starting college. I look back on that time and I’m thoroughly confused–there was nothing to be afraid of!
Here is some advice for my pre-Fontbonne self:
- Above all: trust yourself. If you’re doubting yourself, have faith. You know what to do. Sometimes it’s easier to say and think that you’re incapable. Know that you will fail (frequently) but that’s just part of life. Failing actually means you’re progressing.
- Don’t settle. Before Fontbonne, you had a rough idea of what you wanted to do but you didn’t know what specifically. That’s okay–just take comfort in knowing that you will find something you love (actually many things!). One of the most important things I’ve learned at Fontbonne is that you can find a way to make your dreams tangible.
- It’s okay if you don’t adjust right away. After only a few weeks at Fontbonne you started panicking. You weren’t fitting in like all your friends were at their colleges. You were basing your entire future experience on only a few weeks of getting adjusted. Give it time. Because in a few short months you are going to love it.
- Just go for it: In grade school and even in high school you were the shy kid. You were scared what people would think of you and base your intelligence off of wrong answers and your quirky, unconventional personality. In college, you won’t be afraid to be yourself. This might surprise you, but you are going to take a lot of chances and meet a lot of wonderful people and do so many amazing things! You’ll sit in front in your classes, ask questions and answer questions, and speak your mind!
- Balance: It really is the key. In the past your anxiety has caused you to miss some cool opportunities. On the other hand, you also know that some things are just too much for you–and that’s okay! You can find a way to do things that are out of your comfort zone without sending yourself into a panic. It’s all a matter of knowing what you can tackle and what you can’t. (For example, hang out with friends one night but take some time to recharge at home the next.) Also, don’t worry so much! If there’s an event you want to participate in, don’t worry hours beforehand what it will be like. Fontbonne people are amazingly sweet and forgiving–you will be in excellent company, so don’t stress!
Dear younger Claire (and incoming freshman),
Thinking back just 9 months ago before I started school at Fontbonne, I expected something totally different. I excepted teachers that didn’t care, huge classrooms and having to stay up until 3 am every night. When I got to Fontbonne, I was mistaken and for good reason. The faculty and staff of Fontbonne actually care about the students. Although some may disagree, if you put your studies first and ask for help, they will go above and beyond to make sure you have all the tools you need to be successful. Here are some of the things I would tell myself before coming to Fontbonne, after being here for almost a full year now.
- Join more clubs and be more involved. Yes, having a super busy schedule is tough, but you make more friends and have more items to look back on as involvement from college.
- Try something new. Step out of your comfort zone and make new friends. Say hi to someone or tell them that you like their shirt.
- Go to class. Don’t miss it just because you don’t feel like it. Go and sit there because you’re wasting your money every class you don’t go to.
- Eat healthy. Yes, pizza and ice cream are great every now and then, but you have to take care of your body to be mentally and physically healthy.
- Make friends. I know this sounds silly, but put yourself out there and you can meet some pretty cool people.
- Go for it. Whatever it is, if there is something you want, you won’t know until you try it! I randomly decided to go to a meeting about being a student blogger, and look where I am now.
Moral of the story: This is a time to reinvent yourself so become the person you have always wanted to be. You may say “what if I fail?” But I ask you, what if you succeed? You can never know until you try and you are your biggest limitation. Try new things, meet new people, be adventurous, have fun.
Interestingly enough, in 2nd grade my teacher asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. And then she had us write a letter to our future selves and include our future job description. Then she said she would mail it to us some years down the road. I received the letter years later and past me wanted to be…a police officer! It’s a noble profession but I definitely don’t think I could do it today.
Growing up, I never had a realistic grasp on what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do. I had aspirations to be a police officer and then as the years went on I switched to dolphin trainer and then veterinarian. I love animals so a career path that included physically touching soft, furry animals seemed like a perfect fit. Then things started to get serious and I realized careers required hard work, dedication, and motivation.
Math, science, literature…I struggled with all of them. If I had to choose one, it would be literature (since I loved to read) but I wasn’t really passionate about it. When I found out I could turn my hapless doodling and drawing and creating into a career, I was ecstatic!
Even now, I can’t recall exactly when I made that decision to be an artist. In a manner of speaking, art chose me. It was the only thing I considered myself good at and it was something I loved to do. Art is a field that offers so many possibilities–and that’s the reason it works so well for me. Today, I have a better grasp on what I want to do but I also firmly believe that nothing is certain. There are so many different paths to take. Right now I’m a graphic designer but in a few years time, who knows?
As long as my job description requires me to create–anything!–then I’m satisfied.
Let the blogging begin!
Hello all! My name is Lauren and I’m a junior here at Fontbonne. I’m an art major with a graphic design focus–actually, now it’s called Applied Design! The graphic design program was changed quite recently to include more computer-based classes. So far, it’s been an adventure.
I have some big plans for my blog posts this semester! As an art major, there are a lot of ups and downs. I’ve learned so much about art this past year. Every artist has a different philosophy when it comes to creating and appreciating art. Everyone has their own aesthetic and their own set of beliefs. Thanks to Fontbonne, I have a wonderful group of people surrounding me. With my major, I get to express myself, but there are some things you should know if you are an art student (or thinking about it!) I hope to shed some light on what the Fine Arts community is like, and what it means to be an artist. As always, I am still learning–keep that in mind!
I hope to touch on a lot of different subjects throughout the semester, from how to diffuse “artist’s block” and manage stress, to getting involved in the art community both on campus and off! Not only does Fontbonne offer a lot of great lectures and gallery openings, so does St. Louis! (And it goes beyond the St. Louis Art Museum!)
I can’t wait to share with you my experiences, and the experiences of my peers as we navigate what it means to be an art major. Stay tuned for more.