In Need of Direction

Ok, here’s my deal:

I go to Notre Dame and have completed my freshman year there. I had no idea what I wanted to study when I got there and so just took a lot of general liberal arts classes. Second semester, I took the entry-level ID class on a whim and turned out to absolutely love it. Before long, I spent more time on that one studio class than all of my other classes put together. I ended up with a decent portfolio and absolute confidence that I wanted to study ID.

Trouble is, I’m well aware that Notre Dame is probably not the best place to be studying art. I feel like I’m producing on a level now what a lot of the seniors in the program are turning out. Furthermore, I really don’t care for Notre Dame’s location or general atmosphere. It’s frankly a cultural dead zone. I see myself being a lot happier (and frankly more successful in the long run) in a city school that pushes me more where I’m surrounded by talent.

I also vastly prefer the west coast, though not to the point that I wouldn’t consider an east coast school.

Here’s the problem:
I have virtually no art credit, just this one class. I’ve been drawing my whole life and have good sketching skills and all, just nothing that shows up on any kind of official transcript. I’m anticipating my lack of studio experience being a real problem.

If I change schools, I want to go to a good one. I was Dean’s List at Notre Dame (3.7 cumulative), which I’m hoping will help.

I went to Notre Dame mostly because of family legacy, and the whole college search thing is new to me… my destiny was set before I was even born in terms of ending up at Notre Dame. So the options are a little overwhelming.

So what do you say to a incoming sophomore with practically no studio experience but plenty of ambition who wants to go to an art school (west coast preference) that will push him? I need to make sure I get a job at the end of all of this too, college is expensive.

I need to know where to start.

If you read through all that, many thanks. Any and all input is appreciated.

-Joe McLean