After my freshman year, I found that my technical skills had improved tremendously as a result of the rigor and demands of collegiate art courses and the time and practice I was putting in.
After this year, I found that other things had improved in my artistic approach beyond just ability. I have become more flexible, more intuitive and more open to new experiences in art. I was forced to take classes far beyond my comfort zone (discovering that sculpture is certainly not my area of interest), that caused me to let go of my perfectionism and focus more on the process over product. I became engaged in art outside of my own classes, moving beyond campus and in to the community, working now as an artist in my own rights rather than as just a student.
Among a semester marred by a crushing rejection and a confining illness, I found confidence in areas of my life that I never would have expected. I was elected President of my university's local education fraternity, was honored with scholarships and the promise of a paid internship for the 2014-2015 school year, and just today was named a recipient of my hometown's "Twenty Under Twenty" achievement award. I found comfort in the arms of my family and the 157 new "sisters" i inherited upon becoming a charter member of the newest social sorority on my campus.
As I leave this semester behind me, I look forward to the next big chapter in my artistic and academic career: my first adventure overseas to study in Southern Africa. I will be photographing and journaling my travels through Zimbabwe and South Africa with 9 other OSU students, and am most looking forward to our stops in national and local art galleries, village craft markets and schools in both rural and urban areas of the continent.
I will be leaving all ties to this semester, and this country behind. By shutting my phone off, and leaving my laptop in New York, I will be free of all distractions from social media, school and the general society I have known my entire life. I hope that these experiences can change me even more, and that I will have plenty to share with you all when I return.
So long sophomore year, and see ya later America!