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The New Bee’s Mini-Guide to Life at SCAD

Animated GIF by Illustrator Mengxi Fu, SCAD Atlanta.

It’s a new school year and for some, it’s an entirely new culture.  Whether you’ve just graduated from your sweet small-town high school, you’ve moved from the suburbs to the city or you are coming from a perfectly normal adult life, looking to pursue your dream of going into the creative industry, you will find that learning how to do life at SCAD is kind of like learning a new culture.  Not everything comes completely natural, but that’s why you have us.  We’ve already been here for a while and learned so much in the process.  So, we’re gonna share it.  You’ll find that people at SCAD are very generous with they have learned — so, open your hands and receive it.  Know that we are rooting for you!

Dearest New-Bees:

Joshua Roberts 1.) Be social. The friends you make her are gonna be a part of your network, so try not to burn bridges. 2.) Work for your portfolio, not for a grade. 3.) Don’t take critiques as a personal attack. They are often very helpful 4.) In 2009, Beyonce had the best video of all time. #NeverForget

Ciara Decoursey Hill [T]his is weird but…make time for people? [E]ven if that just means hanging with them in the computer labs? idk because [I] feel [SCAD] students (myself included) tend to feel pressured to never afford themselves time for friends?

Emily Celeste Couch Despite the jokes and “Sleep Comes After Death” slogan the school has…get some rest. Take care of yourself. Your health is important. I have never regretted sleeping than staying up all night confusing my brain, design skills, inking, etc for one project or grade. You can always go back and fix your work without putting yourself through physical pain!

Sarah Nelson Get to know your professors, especially if they are in your department. Having good relationships with them will not only make your classes more enjoyable (though not easier), but it will be a great resource down the road. Weirdly enough, they know what they are talking about.  Also, document your process. Always. Even when you think you don’t need to. It’ll save your life when you get to higher level classes.

Kathleen Powell Try new things such as joining a gaming group, trying a new fitness class, eating new foods, don’t be afraid of experiences. Don’t be afraid to switch majors. Get involved in some club or group even if it’s off campus. Attend SCAD events because a lot of the events could be cool and fun if people would actually show up. Learn to budget your time, if you need help career services can help. Don’t be afraid to talk to a counselor or teacher if you need help or feel overwhelmed. Take advantage of extra help sessions, guest speakers, festivals, etc. You can always take something from another major or person and apply it in some form or fashion to your own craft or life. SLEEP. EAT.  Most importantly, it’s ok to fail sometimes. As long as you’re learning, that’s the important thing.

Katie Bryl Taking photos or sketching with the Atlanta skyline in Piedmont park. I never knew how close we were to the park til I had a car junior year!

Arisha Husain Your reputation matters here. Don’t be rude and unkind.

Ree Blankenship Stock up on hand sanitizer, vitamin c packets, wet wipes, and cold medicine. Once one person gets sick, we all do. Gotta stave it off however you can. Trust me, you can’t afford to get sick.  I know that’s a weird one, but seriously, be prepared. 

Ree Blankenship Also, be professional from the start. Stay clean and well dressed, do your work on time, speak to your professors and peers in a professional manner, and take criticism as an opportunity for improvement. Finish things! It doesn’t matter if they’re perfect, but it does matter if they’re finished. Treat this like a job, because your teachers will be the ones writing your recommendation letters…

Caitlin Sciscoe Caitlin Trade artwork with your peers if you have stuff you don’t feel like keeping. It can be a cool way to decorate and you never know when someone you were in class with is going to end up taking their field by storm :) Also, trade numbers with or add every single person you can in order to increase your network after college!

Amanda Start showing your work NOW. Especially if you’re a fine arts major, but also media. If you want to show in a particular gallery, you have to go to their shows because they notice when you’re at every one. Teachers give more opportunities to people who are already doing these things too. Remember there are things going on in the city that AREN’T SCAD related. And, especially in undergrad, having a job too will most likely impact your school performance/ability to do outside things that get you more job leads unless you’re seriously motivated and/or don’t sleep. There WILL be kids in the computer lab until 4am while you’re sleeping because you’re exhausted from 3 classes and working. Avoid a job if at all possible!

Suzi Hammond Not sure if it has been said before – go to as many field trips as you can even other things that might not apply to your major.

Michael Edward Oh whatever you do, bring a blanket. It is COLD very very very very COLD. Temperature is gonna be like 55 in the building. So save some SCAD cash for Starbucks that doesn’t really taste like Starbucks.

Anya Kelly Haber Anya I think that it’s really important to form friendships your first year cuz collaboration is really helpful and important later on and everyone in your freshman classes come from diff backgrounds and majors so gaining a network of friends from different majors is important. Also yes think about your portfolio when you are doing work because that is so important. Either save your projects to photograph professionally later or photograph them right after you get them back.

Andréa van Hintum Get involved, get internships, take advantage of the opportunities like studying abroad.

Jacob Phillips That the radio station is awesome and they should take advantage of it. >.> <.< ^.^

Wes 1. Foods terrible 2. Never live on campus. 3. Don’t leave valuables unattended.

Chante C. Williams SMILE! Socialize ENGAGE!

Sarah-Jane May Learn to like coffee

Christine Burney My advice first comes from the professor I had when I first came to SCAD, Paul Rodecker:  Set aside at least 10 hrs a week per class to work on projects outside of school-this is key to doing quality work-put in quality time.  Also, a thing I like to do is set a new challenge for myself every quarter or so.  This is what you do when you start to feel like a pro.  Move to the next level.  Join a club, lead a group, work on more projects outside of school to grow your skill.  Do what you can to never feel like a pro while in school-now is the time to go for it, make mistakes, do different things and challenge yourself to come up to a higher level.  Also, friends are super important!  Maybe set a friend or two or three that are your designated friends of the quarter, and be sure you set aside quality time to spend with them.  This will add value to your life and you will not regret it.  You need a support group; you will find this out early on.  See the value of and live in the present.  Apply to future things (jobs, internships, competitions, etc.), but be here.  Take time to talk with friends, call your grandma, and call your family.  Don’t wait to start networking.  The people you see everyday here are your network and you have no idea where they will end up.  Always be generous with people as you never know when you will need someone to be generous to you.  Lastly, it’s okay to listen to what people say to and/or about you, but ultimately, you must learn how to be yourself & flush some of the crap people put on you with their opinions.  

For more new bee advice and other fun videos to come, check out our YouTube Channel.  

Have a wonderful year!



Starting out as a staff writer & visual contributor in the Spring of 2016, Christine soon became the replacement Campus Correspondent at Her Campus Savannah College of Art and Design for the 2016-17 school year. In January 2017, she facilitated the launch of the SCAD Atlanta branch's own editorial launch, apart from the Savannah campus, leading the team to win some 2017 Her Campus awards!  She is an illustrator and avid history lover, and she also served in the Army as an Analyst and went to Bethel Ministry School before attending SCAD.  Her goal, as an illustrator, writer and in life in general, is to mine life of the treasure contained within.  She loves to find and put on display ideas, people (portraiture) and beautiful things.  Valuable things that are all around us in our everyday life in the form of friends, coworkers, classmates, nature, even industry.  She loves music (even writing songs and performing!), dance and new adventures.   Eventually she plans to write and illustrate children's books, have her own business featuring greeting cards, paper products, and her own revolutionary online/physical editorial publication.  For more about Christine check out her website at www.christineburney.com.
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