19 year old mid life crisis

So right now I’m at the university of massachusetts, amherst. I went here because I wasn’t sure what i wanted to do so i figure i’d take a little time to figure it out. so now i’m a sophomore and i just had a couple meeting with some people at industrial design firms and LOVED what they do. I’ve always wanted a career in design but wasn’t sure what route i wanted to take. I’ve played with fashion, interior and graphic design over the past few years but I really like what ID has, with a little bit of everything thrown in.

Anyways, I was in the business school and studying french, but business is boring and I was some more extraordinary. I’m thinking of transferring but was wondering what programs anybody could recommend. Some people I’ve met with have suggested University of Cincinnati so I rummaged around their website and like the look of it but I wanted to know if anyone had any other ideas. Just to keep options open. I’m from boston but I don’t mind traveling.


mid life crisis? give me a break, if you do it now what do you have to look forward to?

College is a great time to get away from the familiar and open your horizons (read that as leave Boston). Dig through here and you will find a lot of good and bad about many schools. UC, CCS, CIA, ACCD, Pratt, CCAD, ACU are some of the ones positively mentioned frequently.

Also look through this: http://www.core77.com/design.edu

On my Co-ops I’ve met kids from Art Center, CCS, Illinois, Ohio state, Cleveland Institute of Art, Somewhere in Philly, MIAD, and some schools in europe, they’ve all got skills.

I’d take a road trip this summer, or spring break, and give a visit to all the different schools and see what you think in person.

As Yo said, at your point in life it’s real easy(ier) to go where it looks interesting. And as Robert suggested, road trip and visit schools. You can’t go wrong with a road trip.

Locally, in Boston, you have Mass Art, that has a more art oriented ID program. I have met a few really talented folks from there. Also they attract some interesting art/design folks to teach.

Literally across the street is Wentworth Institute of Technology, which is more engineering oriented ID and they had/have a strong co-op program. I believe that Mass Art, Wentworth and other schools in the area have a cross breading, class sharing deal.

For full disclosure, years ago I went to WIT for a year (I already had a degree in EET) before landing a very ID-ish design job. I liked the program but the job was too interesting to pass up.

A state over in Rhode Island is RISD. I believe they are more art oriented as well. RISD seems to have a good rep.

I don’t know how the above stack up against other ID programs/schools.

What did you decide?

right now i have applied or am applying to these places:

University of Cincinnati
Academy of Art University -San Francisco
Massart - Boston
Art Center College of Design -Pasadena

anything else I should add to the list? anything I should remove? i listed them in order of preference. I’ve heard such great things about UC from here and elsewhere. The people at Academy of Art called me back not once but twice after i sent in an online application. They seemed great over the phone and were very helpful but what does everyone here think?

thanks again for all the advice!

One thought / suggestion…

UC is in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I’m not hating on anyone’s city, just stating the facts. I defend Kansas for being cooler than it actually is, since it commonly gets plenty of hate. I grew up in the NorthEast, spent time in the MidWest, I know what it’s about. You can make it a good time, but really a chair is still a chair. No, Cinci is certainly not the worst city in the US, by far. But it’s certainly not the best for a creative college experience. Live a little.

Think about your quality of life index. If it were me, I’d do #2 and #4 as primary options. You can always move to a cold not-greatly-exciting-city when you’re forced to due to job placement.

Also, think about these six reasons;
October, November, December, January, February, and March

I don’t wanna start an argument here but cincinnati isn’t such a bad place to live, yes the weather changes like i change my underwear but it’s more December, January and February.

I go to UC and it’s actually been warm enough there to wear just a t-shirt and jeans.

And while Cincinnati is not a creative mecca like some people think the cities you’re other choices in, it is a culture shock. It’s a lot different here than any other place i’ve seen. I’m not saying you have to go to UC but don’t let people scare you out of a college that has an amazing program, not to mention the fact who doesn’t like a couple snow days in college lol

My daughter,who is a sophomore in the Digital Design departments, LOVES the school and loves the major. She admits that Cincinnati isn’t the best college town,but the school is so good, that she ignores that problem. I can’t imagine a better program that UC.

As for other schools, You certainly are applying to some good ones. I would strongly consider that you add RIT, Pratt Institute and RISD to your list. These latter three all have strong design programs in ID and other areas of design. Frankly, geting into UC as a transfer is very difficult. They don’t have the attrition that other schools have. Usually there are about 8 openings per deparment during any one year, yet they get lots of applications. Certainly, you will need about an overall GPA of 3.5+ and maybe more.

as for the gpa, i have that.

UC is the best program on the list no doubt. but it would be the longest program i’d have to go through, and college is expensive. i’m already at two jobs to afford in state tuition, and i’ve already been here for two years.

while pratt and RISD are really great, deadlines have passed. i’m looking for a place for the fall. i was also told by the people who told me about UC that RISD discourages its students to apply for internships, which is the experience i need. and this was coming from one current UC undergrad and a RISD alum.

still waiting to hear.

Discourage? That doens’t mean they don’t allow it. They can’t tell you what to do, that’d be ridiculous. AAC has rolling admission. I applied to 6 different school. Now I’m looking at AAC. If UC accepts me I’m going there. Other than that I’m not sure which school I want to go to.

so i just got into massart as a transfer. it’s a freshmen transfer because i’ve only taken two art classes in my life and one was in high school and the other is right now. i got into academy of art too but they have open admissions. still waiting on the others.

massart is really cheap for me because i’ll have instate. this means no student loans at all. with a bomb summer job (which i already have) i can pay for half, which is the agreement i have with my parents.

so yea. any advice?

Cincinnati is an amazing school! I went to KU and my friend transfered from there to UC. I’m quite jealous of the education she’s receiving. Here’s a recent message from her about her school:
“at cincinnati we have the co-op system. so when i transfered, i had to start over because they don’t take studio credits. so now i am a sophomore and what we do is pick to work spring/fall or summer/winter. so i am interviewing for my first co-op. we work for 3 months, get paid, and don’t pay tuition. and then i come back and go to school for 3 months in the summer. then i’m back off to work in the fall…etc. it’s a pretty amazing system. so in total, we go to school for 3.5 years and work for 1.5 years. the program is designed that way so we get real world work experience before we graduate and there’s like a 90% job placement after graduation. so that’s UC in a nut shell!”

So I’d recommend UC to anyone and everyone. I hear Cincinnati is a neat city too.

also, Pratt, RISD, CCA and most art schools turn ID into an artsy major, wanting metaphors behind your work and don’t focus on whether the product will work or not. Personally, I liked having classes in other areas so I could be more well rounded. KU has you take physics, calculus, business law, strategic communications (a class about branding and marketing), human factors, interaction design classes, and many others to help you understand all aspects of design, not just how to make products look cool. So that might be something you’d want to look for when searching for a school.

Georgia Tech College of Architecture ID
the program doesn’t get enough credit. it has a different kind of tallent (and tons of it) being at one of the nation’s top engineering schools. also, it’s in the south… warm and fast-growing cities. atlanta is the place to be, even if you’re not an aspiring hip-hop star. also, you have the fallbacks of a building construction program with 100% job placement and the management school, highly raked and offering easier classes with higher payoff.

i’m twenty now. i’m going to massart. i’m pumped. at cincinnati i “met qualifications but was not selected in the final review” which is fine. i’m actually a little relieved.

right now the next step is to find a summer gig somewhere related to design.

i am finally doing what i have been dreaming of for ages. i had my mid life crisis early. i want to spend more time doing what i want. it’s time.

Good for you man. I turned 20 recently as well, and got into and am now preparing for a transfer into an ID program @ Carleton in Ottawa (you may have seen my topic). After having spent the last 2 years in Engineering, like you, I had an extreme period of angst and self questioning before discovering ID during the winter, becoming completely fascinated by it, and subsequently busting my ass trying to get a portfolio done on time.

Were you placed on a waiting list? When and how did you find out? Email? a letter?

Thanks. and good luck to you.

in a letter. they said the decision would be avaiable online april 21st but it wasn’t until about may 11th, and it was very confusing, so i waited for a letter to explain more fully. online it talked about how much they liked me but never actually said “yay you’re in” so when they letter (dated may 13th) came they made it more clear i was not selected. no waiting list. though i suppose it doesn’t make any difference because my massart deposit has been in for weeks. i also read things on here with people saying they’d been accepted, so i was not in high hopes.

i also walked around massart’s ID reviews last night and got really excited all over again.

and for future reference. i am a woman (in response to way to go man)