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What major should I choose when I go to college?

Hello,

I really love painting and I have some talent for page drawing, but I don't know if I have what it takes to study graphic design. Because recently I discovered that I have signs of hand tremors. I haven't told this to anyone in the family yet. Can I continue to pursue this passion?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Linda’s Answer

Well first is your health and you are very young so tremors more than likely a product of hormones, but you need to get it checked so if it is something you should be concerned about it can be taken care of, so please tell your parents. As far as your desires in the art field, I like shakey art, you could have something there. There are wonderful possibilities in every life you must always hold to this and make yours a beautiful story because you can do whatever you put your mind to. The humans sprit is powerful.
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Meghan’s Answer

Hey Larry!

Absolutely, you should continue to chase your passion for art! Depending on where your interests lie, you might consider majoring in Fine Arts and minoring in Graphic Design, or perhaps the other way around. As a Graphic Design major, you'd naturally engage with some fine arts classes. However, if you're keen on broadening your artistic horizons, adding a Fine Arts major or minor could be incredibly beneficial.

Concerning your hand tremors, don't worry. The majority of computer software you'll be working with are equipped with features that can accommodate and work around them. And if you decide to venture into fine art, there are specialized grips available for tools like paint brushes or styluses, making them much easier to handle.

Here's to your artistic journey! I'm rooting for you!
Meghan Ratterman
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Martha’s Answer

Hi Larry, you have asked an excellent question and received excellent advice. I just want to say a little more about hand tremors, which I also have. Mine are controlled with a common, inexpensive, and well-tolerated prescription that my general practitioner or neurologist can order. So I join Michelle in encouraging you to explore the cause of the tremors. That is the important first step to controlling them and/or finding workarounds.

I recognize that this means telling your family, which may be scary to do. I hope that they provide support so you either control the tremors or find ways to work around them. Even if they are not supportive immediately, it will relieve the burden of carrying this secret.

Good luck!
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Karin’s Answer

Hi Larry,

If you are artsy and talented, you should persue an artsy degree.

But first I would recommend that you see a doctor to find out what causes the tremors. I would want to know if there is any treatment that can help, and if it is likely to get worse as you age.

You could also observe the tremors and write your observations down. Is it always there? Does it depend on the time of day, how tired you are, how much coffee or tea you had or if you are nervous? Is there anything you can do to lessen it? Does the tremor affect you drawing abilities at this point in time? I have for example a bit shaky hands, but I can do quite delicate manipulations - as long as nobody is watching me. If I am by myself, my hands still shake a bit, but I can do the things I do and I am quite confident about my abilities. If someone is looking over my shoulder to learn how to do it, it gets worse and I can't.

If you study art or design you'll discover many art forms that you never even thought about. Even if maybe some are not possible for you due to the tremor, there will be others where it doesn't matter as much. Art is not only the manual ability, but the ideas, the composition, the sense of color etc. You'll always have those.

Maybe digital art is an option. Maybe there is software that compensates for your tremor, straightens zig-zag lines? Or maybe, you can just accept the tremor and incorporate it into your art in some creative way.

You could learn to use AI for your art. If you figure out how to make the AI do exactly what you had in mind, you can still create your own unique art but won't have to do the manual part.

Maybe you'll find out you like photography or sculpture. There are so many creative ways to express yourself.

If it gets really bad (and it's unlikely that it will) you can still work e.g. as an art critic or in art history.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

KP
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Mahsa’s Answer

Hello there!

I strongly encourage you to pursue your passion for art and page drawing by considering graphic design within the fine arts field. This path will allow you to blend your artistic talents with layout design.

However, it's crucial to be open with your family about the signs of hand tremors you've noticed. Sharing this information is important because they care about you and would likely be happy to provide support and understanding. Remember, communication is key, and you're not alone in navigating any challenges that may arise.

Wishing you the best on your artistic journey!
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Patrick’s Answer

Deciding on a college major is a pivotal step that will shape your educational journey and future career. It's admirable that you're passionate about painting and have a knack for page drawing. Choosing a major that aligns with your interests and strengths can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding academic experience. However, the recent onset of hand tremors may understandably cause some worry about your ability to study graphic design, which often demands precision and fine motor skills.

Firstly, it's crucial to understand that hand tremors do not automatically rule out your pursuit of art and design. While some graphic design careers might focus more on manual dexterity and technical skills, there are numerous other paths within the field that prize creativity, conceptual thinking, and digital proficiency. Roles like art direction, illustration, digital design, and visual communication require a wide range of skills and abilities that go beyond traditional drawing and painting methods.

Before settling on your college major, it could be helpful to explore different facets of graphic design and related fields to better understand where your interests and strengths lie. Think about taking beginner courses or workshops in graphic design, digital art, illustration, or multimedia design to expose yourself to various techniques and mediums. These experiences can help you determine whether your hand tremors significantly affect your ability to perform certain tasks, and if accommodations or alternative methods might be feasible.

Also, don't hesitate to seek advice and support from academic advisors, faculty members, or professionals in the art and design field. They can provide valuable insights, resources, and advice tailored to your unique situation. If you feel comfortable, you might consider discussing your concerns about hand tremors with a trusted family member, mentor, or healthcare professional. They could provide further support and help in navigating this aspect of your academic and career journey.

Ultimately, the most crucial aspect of choosing a college major is finding a path that aligns with your passions, interests, and goals. If your love for painting and page drawing brings you happiness and satisfaction, don't let worries about hand tremors stop you from chasing your dreams. There are endless ways to nurture your artistic talents and make a significant contribution to the creative community, whether through graphic design or other areas within the arts and design industry. By staying open-minded, adaptable, and resilient, you can continue to follow your passion for art while overcoming any obstacles that may come your way.
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Dante’s Answer

Hi Larry! Glad to hear you want to pursue Graphic Design (as I'm a designer for too many years). And yes, illustration can be a great career in the right context, employment, or freelance.

Before talking about career, consider addressing the health implications as Martha excellently noted. Knowing the causes of any health ailment gives you the information to empower yourself. It sounds like there's also a fear / hesitancy as well especially informing your family. If anything, your family and friends will likely support you through this. Hopefully you can overcome these obstacles and blockers.

Going back to major and career, it's a journey where you can easily find a different path(s) or the path finds you. It's difficult not to stress about these decisions — what you decide now will likely be different two years from now. Folks switch majors all the time, in fact careers. Most of my design managers in tech had a wide variety of backgrounds and university majors before settling into design. Only half of them finished from a traditional design program.

There's so much pressure to figure out a major, parents and even teachers should consider telling HS students to take a year to work or persue something different from academics. Consider that students have been in school since Kindergarten, and then to dive into another 4/5 years of higher learning seems unhinged. Most of all arts, graphics, and adjacent disciplines are skills which can be honed outside of university. Think about an apprenticeship to see if you want to go down that path. There are great advantages of university too.

Best of luck and know that the decision you make is the best decision given your situation and knowledge at that time.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. Firstly, regarding hand tremors, please let your parents know and look for medical advice asap.
On the other hand, I am glad to hear that you like drawing.
Below are my suggestions :
1. If you like drawing, would you like to be graphic designer, fashions designer, animator, multimedia designer, art teacher, etc. You can find our more drawing related careers online.
2. Find out more on these careers and determine what you have interest
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek guidance from your mentor, school career counsellor, your parents, etc.
4. Shortlist 1-2 careers you have interest
5. Explore the entry criteria of relevant subject in colleges
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
May Almighty God bless you!
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Rafael’s Answer

Choosing a college major is a big decision! If you love painting and have talent for page drawing, pursuing a major in fine arts or visual arts could be a great fit. These programs can help you develop your skills and explore different artistic mediums. As for your hand tremors, it's important to consult with a doctor to understand the cause and severity. They can provide guidance on managing the tremors and adapting your artistic practice if needed. Don't let the tremors hold you back from pursuing your passion! There are ways to work around it and still enjoy a career in the arts.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Larry !

Yes, you can and should pursue your art work. Definitely.

The first thing you may want to do is to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician for a complete physical and blood work. If anything is discovered, the physician will then refer you to another doctor for diagnostic exams. They will rule out various possibilities as well as let you know what is causing it. The reason why I suggest this is that your symptom could be any number of things and you'll keep wondering until you get it checked out and know for sure. If you take the steps to discover what is causing it, you'll know what can be done about it. So please consider this as a first step solution that can help you with making your decisions about your career.

Since you love painting, drawing and being creative, I would encourage you to attend college and major in Art. With that path, you will get experience through your courses with a variety of media and you can see which ones you excel in or which ones you want to focus on and even try new ones that you never even thought of before. Never let any physical differences stop you. There are many artists with different abilities that have been amputees, have MS and any number of personal physical differences. Some musicians are deaf and some are blind. It can be done and should not be a barrier in your pursuit of your career.

Something that is not widely known is a painting technique called Touch Drawing. I have left a link for you below so you can read about it and if it sounds like something you'd like to try to expand your skills, I think that may be good so that you do not stop creating right now. I find it fascinating and I have always wanted to try it but never have yet.

Another piece of advice about the health aspect of your concern is if all your tests come back negative for anything, I would like to suggest if you are interested, that you visit a nutritionist and a chiropractor. I say this because when it comes to your health, you should cover all grounds. Chiropractors have a different way of detecting subluxations and structural imbalances. Just a suggestion and only if you believe it would help.

I have left a very informative article link for you below that provides tips on what to do in your situation while painting. Some very encouraging tips are provided in the article.

Again, I encourage you to remain the artist that you are and to not allow anything to hold you back. Follow your dream and you will be happy !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

TOUCH DRAWING https://touchdrawing.com/touchdrawing/
HOW TO PAINT WITH SHAKY HANDS https://emptyeasel.com/2007/02/16/how-to-avoid-shaky-hands-when-painting/
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