Welcome Back, Lions!
As we are looking forward to the new school year, fourth-year art students discuss what they anticipate for their final year of studies and offer advice to first-year students.
Jessica Chiong, a fourth-year music major, is looking forward to doing work in her studio courses, such as Gospel Choir. “I want to really push myself this year to refine and fine-tune my skills in these classes and take advantage of my final year,” she states.
Additionally, after graduation, Chiong is “looking forward to being in the workforce full-time and (fingers crossed) a position working in the music industry.”
“I cannot wait for the rich life experiences that the future will offer,” she adds.
Rowan Labelle, a fourth-year dance major in the performance and choreography stream, is “most hoping to make memories and learn more about what happens backstage.”
Reflecting on their first years at York in an arts program, Labelle and Chiong both advise first-year arts students to put themselves out there.
“Try to go to events and make friends each year. And communicate with your teachers— they are more understanding than you might think,” says Labelle.
“In the industry of the fine arts, connections are everything,” adds Chiong, “try to diversify your course selection and try dabbling in different skills that may not be your strong suit. This is your year for exploration, so take advantage!”
While the academic and social lives of students are picking up dramatically, it’s also important to remember to pay attention to your health and to take personal days when needed.
“Put yourself first and take care of your physical and mental well-being. It’s okay to ask for help,” adds Labelle. Despite anxieties and stresses that come from beginning a university program in the arts, Chiong assures incoming first-year students that “York University is a great place to study the fine arts. We have a wonderful community of supportive people and I am grateful for my experience here thus far.”