Precollege is worth the extra cash

Junior+Andrew+Wang+of+Marlboro+took+a+trip+to+Hampden%2C+Baltimore+while+attending+precollege+at+the+Maryland+Institute+College+of+Art.+
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Precollege is worth the extra cash

Junior Andrew Wang of Marlboro took a trip to Hampden, Baltimore while attending precollege at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Junior Andrew Wang of Marlboro took a trip to Hampden, Baltimore while attending precollege at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Andrew Wang

Junior Andrew Wang of Marlboro took a trip to Hampden, Baltimore while attending precollege at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Andrew Wang

Andrew Wang

Junior Andrew Wang of Marlboro took a trip to Hampden, Baltimore while attending precollege at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Andrew Wang

By the end of March 2015, now over one year ago, the total student loan debt in the United States had risen to $1.2 trillion according to the Federal Reserve, and has only continued to grow from there.

For many of America’s graduating high school students, college is no longer just an option for the future but the only option. Unfortunately for many, it presents itself as a strain on their wallets.

So it might seem shocking — even counterintuitive — to hear that I and many other students across America and the world aren’t just planning for college, but are also attending pre-college.

The pre-college program I attended was a four-week-long college experience at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, Md. It cost thousands to attend plus an additional $300 spent on art supplies. And it was worth every penny.

Before attending, I was already interested in a career in art and design. But I only knew of a few art schools, and in terms of having a full art portfolio for submission, my art was not up-to-par.

To me, the MICA pre-college program was an incredible opportunity to make art, live with people who shared my artistic goals and to focus on the future that I wanted for myself.

I now believe there’s a big difference between making art for a hobby and making art for a career. My experience at pre college taught me to see the difference.

After four weeks, I became more excited than ever to make art, to invest in it as a career option. Even better I had just lived at a college for four weeks that I now felt like I could make my home for four years.

While my experience can only really be shared with people who have similar interests as me, the pre-college experience in general is not limited to the art community.

Pre-college is a chance to get the experience of a true college life, to help get a feeling for what college is right for you and ultimately, to shape and define your own interests and potential career paths.

One of the things I took away from my experience was that a great art piece needs an enormous amount. This holds true as a metaphor for life: an enormous amount of planning, practice and experimentation has to occur if one wants to make a great life for themselves. Going to pre-college only helps make one’s vision for a great life into a reality.

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