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Sometimes I love Pratt. Sometimes I hate Pratt. Pratt is a mixed-bag, like any other school, and you have to make you're decision based on how you feel most of the time. In regard to art, Pratt rocks. Hardcore. Well, let's start with the bad. In a nutshell, up until sophomore year (which is the extent of my Pratt experience, thus far), the structure is as follows. Freshman year is foundation for the whole school. This means, that (with the exception of a few majors) EVERYONE takes the same classes: Drawing, 3D, Light Color and Design (LCD), as well as art history and English. Studios are 6 hours long. Expect to do homework for at least that amount of time for each. Sophomore year is foundation for your major. This, though it sounds tedious since it contains more required classes, is actually great. It gives us the opportunity to explore and learn about all the majors in our department, which both gives us all the same background and also gives us the opportunity to switch into another major, should we like it better. The rumors are true, Pratt has a million required classes. You don't really get to choose them until your junior year. However, look at all the great things you get to learn! Though the classes require a lot of time and work, if you stick with them you are bound to learn multitudes. I have without fail had skepticism about all of my classes in the first weeks, but as time goes on, no matter how stubborn I am, I learn and I get better. The same will happen for you.
The best thing about Pratt are the people that attend here and being located in New York City. Brooklyn is great because it's so diverse and there are tons of underground and local artists that take part in the community. I've met some amazing people at Pratt and we've established great connections through out the city. People are often really open minded and always passionate about their work or the activities they take part in outside of school.
The best thing about pratt is the freedom of expression. We don't have a lot of the rules standard state colleges have. We are kind of free to go to the beat of our own drum. Which is liberating if you want to find yourself. which is what I did. The one thing I would change is the course requirements. They are a bit too... how should I put, constrained, perhaps. Of course there is requirements you have to meet to graduate but I had to take a lot of classes that I wasn't really interested in. Also that was because I had to settle for a class I could actually get into instead of a course I wanted to take because there wasn't enough room in the class or I had a late registration time. which adds to the problem of not being able to get classes you really want. I love the campus at Pratt. it's small but not too small and being in brooklyn is much better than manhattan I think, we have some room to roam without running into the rest of the population. we have lawns too! When I tell people I go to Pratt the general follow-up question is "where is that? i've never heard of it" Unless you are talking to a fellow artist. Then you might get a "oh yea! I've heard of that. It's a good school." Brooklyn is an amazing place to spend your college years. It's becoming more and more of a college town every year. Lots of young people. Lots of fun places to shop, eat, walk around, play, listen, see etc. Plus its right across from manhattan if you wish to venture out to the city. Which my friends and I do often. And sometimes you will have a class at the manhattan campus which is also good. It gets you out and about if you are stuck at home doing work a lot. Pratt is deffinetely an interesting place to spend 4 years at. I learned a lot being here. About art, life and myself. It's not always fantastic. It's A LOT of hard work and mental strain being creative 24/7. And there is the occasional, if not frequent and dreaded, "all-nighters" but it is an experience you will appreciate if you let it and won't forget. I've made some life long friends here and learned more about other people than I ever expected. Which will help me in the long run. You learn art stuff too, and yea, it's useful (sometimes). But it's what you make of it that really matters here.
The big picture of Pratt is basically, you are going to work, and you're going to work hard, or else you are not going to succeed. I'm not talking about getting A's in a class, I'm talking about making meaningful relationships with your peers and faculty, relationships that are mutually benefical and productive. This school is run poorly. I think good intentions can only go so far. I want to know where the money is going, because it's certainly not going towards my education. Different offices and departments do not work together cohesively, it is disappinting and makes it difficult to love this school. I love this school because of my peers and teachers.
Pratt is kind of a small school. The campus is about as big as a block by two or three blocks, and the number of students is comparative. I don't think it's too small or two big. For some, it's a cramped little space, but if that's your style or you don't care, go for it. It's in the middle of Brooklyn, and it's really nice to have a subway stop just a block or two away. The streets around the campus have everything you want, but if Manhattan is calling you can just hop on the subway. The buildings on campus are about 1,000,000 years old but they're really beautiful--but they are NOT air conditioned by any means!! The heating is pretty bad, too. The campus housing is pretty nice and fairly roomy for dorms, but in the upperclassmen dorms you MUST bring lots of Raid. (you get the picture) The most common complaint here is about air conditioning and the food. I personally don't think the food is that bad, but if you're a picky eater you'll probably hate it. There are plenty of restaurants a block over and the upperclassmen dorms have kitchens. If you're bored, you aren't getting involved--there are a billion clubs to join, yes we have Greek life, and always a free movie, pizza, stand up comedian, etc. We also have cats--millions of cats. The PrattCatts! (We're very clever at this school) That means we have at least twenty cats roaming free around campus. Some of them are really nice, and others run away, but they all want your food. They're probably my favorite part of Pratt.
The best thing about Pratt is everyone is different. I would make the school more organized, because it feels as if you're wasting your money a lot of the time. Its a decent size, I wish it was a little bigger, everyone knows everyone, or at least someone who knows that person. People are usually either impressed by going to Pratt or they have never heard of it. I spend all my time in the architecture building, because I was an architecture student. Basically, I didnt sleep and lived off of the pretzels from the vending machine my last year in school. College town, no way! We either go into Manhattan, when we really feel adventurous, or we go to the divey bars around our school in Brooklyn. And sometimes Williamsburg, the hipster capital of NYC. There is nothing usual about Pratt. My college experience is nothing like my friends at other schools. There is no school pride, actually we all dog on Pratt and would never be caught dead in a "Pratt" t-shirt or sweatshirt. That is the ultimate show of geekiness at Pratt. The school is not organized. And my graduation this year was a joke. It poured so hard and they just gave us ponchos, no tents, not moving it inside out huge gym. Our families and us were drenched. They didnt shorten any of the ceremony except for not letting us walk. Which we booed loadly and started chanting "we want to walk, we want to walk!" and they didnt let us walk.
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