Throughout my time there I was often outnumbered by a bunch of art school snobs bringing me down as well as many unsupportive professors. I was right on the edge of dropping out to become a doctor or lawyer (anything that the world has more use for,) but looking back on it now I’ve been able to analyze the whole situation. I’m now able to see what my problem was and why my depression level was so high. When I was in high school art was my main hobby at the time--it kept me going through it all. But once I left for college, my only hobby became my career leaving me with no hobbies at all. I had absolutely no downtime activities to escape to. And that really took away all my self-respect to the point where it was very easy for me to allow others to bring me down.
But as soon as I was entering my fourth year, things completely turned around when I took up a physical activity in martial arts, which I started to remember doing growing up back in the day and loving it. Soon it hit me as something to consider getting back into. I joined a teakwood studio across the street from the main SVA building where I attended classes 4 times a week. I was feeling like “The Unstoppable Art School Student.” Above all, this I was gaining so much self-confidence while all my snotty classmates were getting depressed. The tables were turning. I was feeling on top of the world while they were constantly whining and bitching about how depressed they were.
I have this one funny story for you all that I always tell whenever I have the opportunity. It is one my classic art school moments. Towards the end of my fourth year, all the fourth year students and faculty were pulling in some students for department critiques of all their work. It was the worst of the worst when it came to critiques. Well, this one classmate was displaying work that was so bad that it consisted of the following: A crumpled up sheet of paper held on the wall with scotch tape, a stick held on the wall with scotch tape, two sheets of glass leaning up on the wall against each other, and much more that is similar. It was very obvious that he was slacking around and not working hard. So all the professors from out of nowhere started grilling him with every hurtful thing you can say to an artist. One of them said something like “What is this toilet paper because I could really use some!!” Then they were threatening to fail him if he didn’t spend the last few weeks making better work. But now it gets even better-- all my other snotty classmates were so enraged about the way he was treated that they all tried to start a petition about the whole thing. I don’t think it did anything. I think he got what he deserved.
If I could go back in time and tell myself what I know now it would be to take up as many hobbies as possible. Since I entered the real world I have learned how important hobbies can be for your emotional well-being. The more you have the better you feel.