Is Majoring in the Arts Worth it?
Deciding your major is one of the most important decisions of your life so of course, they make a bunch of 18-year-olds decide with little to no guidance. Choosing to major in anything can be a pretty stressful situation, but majoring in the arts specifically tends to be thought of with many misconceptions. We tend to think of a whimsical young adult who occasionally paints a piece, watches films, and brags about the pretentious literature they read.
In many cases, the stereotypes of art majors tend to overshadow the true hard work and fulfillment that comes with it. We understand the struggle so here is a little guidance (from your local creatives) to help you maneuver the many feelings, struggles, and debates you may be having with your family members and yourself about majoring in the arts.
1. Majoring in the Arts is Easy
Majoring in the arts is not all fun and games. Like obtaining any college degree, it is a lot of work. The perk is that you love what you're doing, but it can still be draining. There are still tests, projects, papers, and major STRESS. I am a film major and can attest to the fact that we do not watch movies all day.
If that's what you are looking for, save your money, and stay home. The arts are hard because it is the most vulnerable career path you could choose. You are constantly having to come up with concepts, execute them, and have your peers criticize them. Most art comes from your own personal experience and it is hard to allow people to see your inner thoughts. In addition to that, as an art major, you are always having to defend your major because no one understands this obscure career path.
2. Art is a Hobby NOT a Career
Since many people grow up considering things like music, art, and film as hobbies, the general consensus is that if you pursue it professionally, you are wasting your degree on something you could do for fun on the side. That mentality is what leaves so many young adults discouraged when it comes to finding their true passions.
We question whether our passion is a fun activity or something we want to pursue for the next 10-30 years. And to be honest most of us don't actually know the answer yet. The main thing to consider is, do you love the process of making the art, or do you enjoy everything about the art? I like to paint or sing in my free time, but I could never make a full-time living doing it because I like a single part of the bigger industry and would get overwhelmed very quickly.
But when it comes to film, my major and passion, I am amazed by everything about it and spend my free time learning every aspect that I can. Find something that makes you want to constantly learn and grow.
3. There are NO Jobs
The stereotype that there are no jobs in the arts is FALSE. The arts covers so many areas from Graphic Design, Art History, Music, Film, Game Design, Social Media, Fashion, Literature, Interior Design, Theatre, and much more. Saying that all of these fields are dead ends in terms of a career path is insulting.
These are things that people interact with on a daily basis and may not even notice. Think of every movie or commercial you watch, art. Every piece of clothing you wear, art. Every song you listen to, art. It has been proven that art is essential. It promotes wellness, happiness, and guidance. It provides a story for future generations to reflect on the past.
Art influences each generation differently. We need to end the "starving artist" stereotype. While art has always been essential to this economy, it is more prevalent now than ever. With technology rising year after year, it continues to open more paths for art to be seen and get the attention it deserves.
Tips that Can Help You Make a Decision
When deciding if I wanted to pursue an arts degree, one of the things that helped me was to read over the classes I would be taking. When I read class titles like Aesthetics, Genre Studies, and Entertainment Marketing I was overjoyed and couldn't wait to attend these classes.
When I read classes from other majors I had no motivation to get started. Nothing about Bio 101 pulled at my heartstrings. You will never know if the arts is the correct path for you until you try. If you are still unsure once it comes time, sign up for 1-2 classes that spark your interest. You will find out pretty quickly if it makes you want to study more or just flat out quit.
If you have creatives in your life, talk to them. They can provide a whole lot of insight into their specific field and how they came to choose it. Since people are innately biased, taking a career aptitude test can clarify some of your doubts and help guide you in the right direction. Most colleges provide an online personality test to help guide you. If you have a specific college in mind head to their website for resources on it. If not, here is one you can use.
Another quick tip is to simply talk to someone about your major. If you can talk for hours about the intricate details related to your field then you may have found your passion. The amount I talk about camera angles and movements is ridiculous, but that is my passion. What's yours?
Why Pursue a Career in the Arts?
I chose to pursue a career in the arts because it makes me happy. I wanted a career that excited me, pushed me, and allowed me to produce work that made me proud of myself. You spend the majority of your adult life at work, why would you waste all that time doing something that is not fulfilling you, encouraging you, and allowing you to be happy? Art can be a hobby, but why not make money doing what you love anyway?
Does art make you happy? Does it fulfill you? Can you truly picture yourself pursuing it? These are the questions you need to ask yourself before making your decision. You are the only person that truly knows your heart, your wants, and your needs. If your answer is yes to most of these questions, follow your dreams, and send any haters this article.
The arts is not for everyone, but those who do find themselves being drawn towards a life of creativity better buckle up and prepare for the most insane, complex, thrilling, amazing ride of their lives. It is scary, but so fulfilling at the same time.
We hope this article helped you get a step closer to making a decision - and if you're reading this because someone sent it to you, we hope their decision makes more sense now!