I recently saw online that someone said getting a degree in the arts was easy. To anyone who thinks this way— please reconsider your thoughts. Sure, there are plenty of degrees that are difficult to achieve, and I give those students a lot of credit; however, earning a degree in the arts is nothing that you think it is.
The amount of times I have been put down because I am looking to pursue a career in the arts is more than enough. Many people ask, "Oh, so you just take dance classes all day? That's cute. Do you even take real classes?".
Yes, I take hours of dance classes a day to train myself and my classmates for the professional world. If you think this is all we do, think again.
Us artists balance an academic schedule and an Arts schedule.
Many of us take close to the maximum amount of credits. Not to mention we must balance our time for rehearsals, practice, shows and keeping ourselves social. Not to mention many students in the performing and visual arts are double majors or have a minor.
Take a minute to think about the number of classes being taken now and the workload that comes with these many responsibilities.
Does my schedule sound "cute" to you anymore?
Yes, us artists take many classes that entail long hours of work. We are also put to the test when it comes to physical and mental health. Dancers, specifically, must maintain great strength to continue dancing for long hours. We also get injured constantly, or experience bruises, cuts, or burns that we can shake off easily.
Personally, I have experienced many ups and downs regarding my mental health. When you have to manage classes, rehearsals, and homework, and a social life, your mind will inevitably want to break down. Artists at the college level have a whole lot on their plate.
We are exhausted students who do not care about what others say because we are pursuing a difficult career in something that we love to do.
Us students who are working to obtain a degree in the arts are brave. Yes, we know we are entering a competitive world with no guarantee of a stable job, but we love what we do.
Next time you underestimate a dancer, singer, actor, musician, or visual artist, try to live a day in our shoes.