Art over dollars, her choice is clear

by Laine Bernstein

I will never forget the look on my parents’ faces my senior year of high school when I told them I had decided to major in art history.

To be fair, it was merely a minor improvement from my original plan to study English literature, but they were truly shocked I had managed to land upon something even less substantial (and profitable post-grad) to study than books.

Despite their ostensible disapproval, I was set in my ways and they grew to accept that my passions happened to fall in the probably unemployable category.

In an article published by NBC News, statistics show that roughly 50 percent of students who enter college with a declared major end up changing it over the course of their college career, some even doing so multiple times.

Now in my third year at Chapman, I have never questioned my decision to study art history, and in fact over the course of my studies have only grown more confident in my decision.

I have always had my future career in the back of my mind as I’ve gone through college, but making a lucrative career for myself after I graduate has never been my top priority.

I can’t count the number of people I’ve encountered who complain about hating their major and justify sticking with it for the high-paying job they hope to score a few years down the line.

No disrespect to any of these people, but I have never been one of them.

Personally, I have always fostered my love of art over the desire to have a lucrative future career in my back pocket.

I firmly believe that having a deep and genuine passion for something will shine through no matter what you choose to do, much more so than a lukewarm interest with money on your mind. True passion and love for something, whether that is art, English, biology or finance, is unmistakable and will take you places you couldn’t have imagined.

My passion for art took me to London last summer, where I spent two months at Sotheby’s Institute of Art learning a completely new aspect of studying art, and also discovering the type of work I now know I want to do for the rest of my life.

I stumbled upon that summer study program through my major advisor at Chapman and I took a leap of faith going there, unsure as to whether it would be worthwhile or not. I came out of my summer with lifelong friends and connections from all over the world, a completely new set of knowledge and questions about the art world and the desire to go further and work even harder to one day go back there to work rather than study.

If I learned anything at Sotheby’s, it is that a job does not necessarily have to be work. Your career is where you spend your whole life, and as such, it should be something you truly love, no matter how much money you make or what people think of it.

We are lucky at Chapman to be afforded such a wide range of opportunities and personalized educations. Why waste four years on something you don’t truly love when you could be fostering an interest in something you’re actually passionate about. That random, obscure subject you love so much could end up being your life, and I guarantee you would never regret following it through. 

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