Hi, my name is Kyra. I'm a senior majoring in Visual Arts with a certificate in Gender & Sexuality Studies. I'm also the art editor for The Princeton Tiger (Princeton's only intentionally funny publication).
I came to Princeton under the impression that I would be majoring in either Neuroscience or Psychology and maybe pursue a VIS certificate. My friends at Princeton and people who've met me in the past year find this hilarious, as it’s hard to imagine me in STEM at this point. Over my first and second years here, I switched my perspective major around from Neuroscience to Psychology to Philosophy to English, never really allowing myself to consider actually majoring in art. Because of social ("why go to Princeton and do art??") and financial ("what kind of job are you going to get with that degree??") pressures that come with an arts degree, it was a hard decision to choose to major in art. I've always wanted to be able to help my parents financially after I graduate. After learning about the diverse array of career opportunities that are possible with an art degree, I've realized that my hope of helping my parents is still a possibility.
So I decided last minute, as I was submitting my VIS application, to check the box for “major” rather “certificate”. It was the best decision I've made at Princeton. I’ve made new friends, become a part of an amazing community, and found a department where I feel simultaneously comfortably at home and constantly challenged. And I’m no longer forcing my art-brain into classes that just don’t work for me. I'm also learning that there are many different ways to live your life "successfully," which don't always fit into standards of success that parents or University structures might have.
I encourage everyone to take a VIS class even if you don't want to be in the program! If you’d like to talk at any point, or if you have questions about VIS classes, applying for the certificate or major, balancing jobs/school/social life, navigating mental health and Princeton, or anything at all, I’d be happy to meet up!