I'm not sure if I feel more excited or anxious over the fact that the weeks seem to be flying by. Thanksgiving will be here in a matter of days and graduation in just a few months. I sometimes catch myself wondering what my life would be like if I had gone to a more traditional college, but then I realize it doesn't matter because a) I have one foot out the door with a diploma and b) I know I've made the best of my experience and would have done so anywhere else. Allow me to spare you any nostalgic flashbacks and give you my list of advice that has my experience in college at SVA the best college experience I could have wanted.
1. Take advantage of all of the facilities.
It doesn't matter if you're a film major, you should feel totally comfortable enrolling in a printmaking course or something in the Fine Arts building. As an SVA student, you are entitled to make use of all of the facilities to learn something new or just for the fun of it. There is so much more to SVA than just your department.
2. Make an appointment with Career Development.
One day not too far off you'll be faced with the task of walking across the stage with your diploma and will no longer carry the title of a student. While you still can, make use of those paid to help you. Career Development has their office on West 21st and can help you make sense of a resume, job opportunities and of course internships as well. There is no such thing as being too prepared. Maybe too cocky, but that's a whole different conversation.
3. Discount movie tickets! And FREE MOVIES!
SVA regularly offers discounted movie tickets and even better, screens films you otherwise would have to pay to see. Seriously, why aren't you doing this!?
4. Help your teachers help you.
SVA has a pretty impressive faculty list, which is probably one of the reasons you enrolled in the first place. Skipping class, half-assign assignments and drooling on your desk is not the way to make a good impression. Your instructors are part of your first-person network that has all the means to introduce you to a mentor, potential employer and ultimately get your foot in a door you otherwise might not have had available to you. Connections can be so important in the art world, so use them or lose them!
5. Get to know your peers and upperclassmen.
They were just in your shoes a few months or year ago. They know what the curriculum ahead is like, have the experience of working with more instructors and maybe know the artist they're interning for now (or design studio) needs more help and they can pass your name along. Again, networking is super important and your peers in college could very well be a future colleague. Plus, you can always afford a new friend. :)
6. Don't forget why you're here.
Reread your application essays. Sure, some of it might have been fluffed up bullshit but I bet you squeezed your dreams and intentions in there as well. It's so important to remember why you wanted to pursue your college career here in NYC at SVA. You had a dream coming into this place and it deserves to be remembered.
Best of luck out there!