Why students should participate in the arts while in college

Lacey Alexander

Staff Writer

The great thing about college is that it is the time in every person’s life to take a chance and try something new in a continuous effort to find yourself.

If you’re anything like many twenty-somethings, myself included, that are trying to define their identity or delve a little deeper into who they are, there is something that you may have overlooked— the multitude of opportunities college provides to be immersed in art or an art community.

I’m not just saying to attend an event. Being an artist, even for a little while, can be liberating for a college student.

Troy has an opportunity to partake in the arts almost anywhere you look; graphic design, theater, choral music, and dance are just a few of the many opportunities for students who are feeling like they need some art in their routine.

And I know what you’re thinking— “But I don’t know how to do any of that!” Not to fear: all artists, at one point or another, didn’t either!

By no means am I alluding that you should drop your 30 credit hours towards an economics degree and instead pursue a career as a circus performer, but everyone— even you, my chemistry major friends— can benefit from having a little art in your life.

Have room for an extra elective? Take that photography class you’ve always been curious about.

Need to get some exercise in your day but want to have fun doing it? There’s a lot of beginner-level dance classes you can take.

If you’re thinking that maybe a semester-long commitment is too much of a jump into your creative side, baby steps are always an option. The auditions held by the theater department are open to everyone; preparing your audition and being an actor for a night can be great fun.

If you have a free afternoon, there’s a writers’ guild that meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. in Smith Hall 267, and you don’t even have to sign up for anything or be involved in the English department to participate.

The options don’t end there, and they are plentiful for a reason: when you participate in art, you’re expressing yourself, and when you’re expressing something true to yourself, it feels really good.

Maybe you learn something you didn’t already know about your body when you take that Beginner Ballet class.

Maybe your artwork of that apple in Drawing I looks significantly different from everyone else’s, and you learn just how differently you see the world.

Maybe joining 50 or more voices in Collegiate Singers makes you feel like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself.

And, of course, when you’re done being an artist for a short time, you can go back to the “real world,” knowing yourself better than you did before, and feeling a little bit closer to finding out who you are because you took a chance on something new.

The next time you feel the urge to express yourself or share yourself or learn about yourself— you know where to go.


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