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Nov 27 2015
by Sunni Burks

6 (Awesome) Differences Between Art School and a Typical College

By Sunni Burks - Nov 27 2015
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The dynamic between art school and other colleges are completely different. There are so many not-so-conventional things you see around campus that you’ve grown to accept and love. Not all schools have courses dedicated to studying the satire of The Simpsons, or math classes like “Liberal Arts Mathematics.” “Normal” colleges probably don’t have people painting each-other’s bodies in the dorm lobbies either, but where’s the fun in that? Here’s some of those total art school moves!

1. Parties

Art schools’ don’t generally have Greek systems, but that’s what state schools are for, right? So, you’re off campus at a frat party and half of the people you talk to are from your school! Super cool, right? They’re drunk, having a good time, it’s casual. Until they start filming a movie. Yep, the whole sha-bang. They are handing out scripts to the kids playing beer pong, turning the kitchen lights on, and pulling out someone’s big camera. On your way out you’ll probably hear something like, “I guess that’s a thing. Leave it to the art school kids to get drunk and film a movie.”

2. Classes

Art schools have those boring lecture classes, too. So when someone’s a little over ten minutes late to their two hour business lecture, the professor is probably going to call them out on it. “Why are you late? What was so important this afternoon that you decided to stroll in after I started class?” “Well, uh, I was at the art museum and my phone was in my book bag and they have new exhibits and I lost track of time and I’m sorry!” To this, the professor excuses the tardy, because how could they not, right?

3. Trends

Can’t decide what to wear? Just throw a flannel on! No, they are not a required garment, but I’m sure you won’t find someone at an art school who doesn’t own one. They may have lost their hipster status quo, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re comfortable! Plus, you can look cute, be warm in those super cold classrooms, and not stand out among your peers! Another token trend is the septum piercing. Take that as you will.

4. Excuses

Art school: unique majors, therefore, unique assignments. So, when the awkward, weird guy who guilt-tripped you into giving him your number at that frat party texts you to “Netflix and chill?” you can reply with “I have to memorize a monologue, paint a mural, and edit a short story! I’m sorry, maybe next time!”

5. Practicing makes perfect

It’s 1 a.m. and you forgot to do your laundry. As you’re walking down the hall, leaving the laundry room, you hear a violin playing. Instead of going back to bed, you investigate to make sure you’re not going crazy. When you find the door it’s coming from, you’re almost not surprised to see it’s a hall closet. Because, where better to practice than a hall closet in the middle of the night?

6. The Theater Building

Oh, the theater building. You’re trying to find a bathroom and open a wrong door. It’s a closet full of trash, recyclables? Props maybe? After finding your way around, you’re heading out. When getting off of the elevator a boy greets you and screams like a banshee in your face. Oh? “I’m so sorry, did I scare you? Really? Good! I’m trying to get into my devil role for this play I’m doing!!”


Have a funny Art School story? Use the hashtag #totalartschoolmove on Twitter or Instagram! Maybe we can surpass those crazy frat stories. 

Lead photo by Allison Ten Eyck https://www.facebook.com/atphotgraphy/?fref=ts  


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Sunni Burks - Columbia College Chicago

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