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The Kids' College Almana : Why Should I Think About College (part 6) - Artistic Opportunities, Athletic Opportunities

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Artistic Opportunities

Colleges give students opportunities to develop acting, directing, musical, and artistic skills. In most cases, students simply enjoy these experiences and continue them after graduation through church and local choirs, community theater, or for personal relaxation. Some students, however, choose professional careers in the arts. If you are interested in the arts as a career, you should look for colleges that offer special programs in your area of interest.

Some colleges focus primarily on the performing arts. Among them are Berklee College of Music, American Musical and Dramatic Academy, the Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College, and Westminster Choir College of Rider University.

Other colleges emphasize the visual arts. These include the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rhode Island School of Design, San Francisco Art Institute, and Ringling College of Art and Design.

Gregory Jbara first majored in communications and minored in physics at the University of Michigan, even though his passion was acting. He ultimately transferred in his fourth year to the Juilliard School, Drama Division, in New York City. Since gaining his BFA, Gregory has worked steadily in commercials and voiceovers, in film and television, and on Broadway (2009 Tony Award for his role as Jackie Elliot in Billy Elliot the Musical). Gregory recommends a college education, noting, “Few people are prepared to make choices about careers right out of high school. Remember, you can always change schools or career options or even your hair color! You always have the option to change your course in life.” Gregory’s Web page can be found at www.gregoryjbara.com.

Athletic Opportunities

Students headed for athletic careers—especially in sports such as basketball, football, hockey, baseball, and tennis—use their college years to develop their skills. Top athletes in other sports, such as swimming, soccer, gymnastics, and track and field, often compete at the college level. College also provides opportunities for people who are interested in coaching, sports therapy, sports psychology, and sports marketing and management.

For most students, athletics simply enrich their college years. Even if you don’t play on an official team, you can participate in a wide range of sports activities.

Most colleges have intramural sports. Students form teams and play other teams from within the college. Intramural teams, often called club teams, are usually open to anyone who wants to play. Also, many colleges have excellent facilities where all students can play racquetball, lift weights, exercise, swim, run track, and play basketball in their free time.

Only a small number of college athletes move to the professional ranks. Goals and dreams are important. But it’s also important to have a backup plan and prepare for another career.

Eddie George won the 1995 Heisman Trophy and other awards as a record-setting running back for The Ohio State University. A first-round draft choice of the Tennessee Titans (then the Houston Oilers), he was the National Football League’s Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1996, was a Pro Bowl selection for the next four years, and played in 2000’s Super Bowl XXXIV. Eddie prepared for life after football by studying landscape architecture in college. He is a founding partner of EDGE, a company that develops public parks, town centers, retirement communities, school athletic facilities, and more. Eddie is also involved in numerous charities, camps that provide fitness training, and other businesses. He has gone back to graduate school to study at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

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