Get the Inside Scoop About Life at DI From New Student Sara Goetz
It's great to see what our amazing seniors are up to but guess what…we have amazing freshmen too! We decided to sit down with one of these exceptional newbies to get the real scoop on what it's like to start at DI.
It turns out that Sara, like many of our freshman didn't start her educational journey towards interior design. She first thought science would be the direction she would take but one thing led to another and she ended up with a degree in Human Development. After college something just didn't feel right. "I couldn't see myself doing it long term." She worked for a year and it only confirmed that her path should be a different one. She was looking through a community college catalog only to stumble upon the interior design classes. "I heard the voice in my head say ‘this is what you've always wanted to do!'" After taking a few design courses Sara spoke with her instructors about her future goals and they all recommended that she transfer to an accredited school. "The most important thing for me while researching schools was the accreditation. I looked at a variety of schools but it wasn't until I called DI, talked to Paula and toured the school that I really got excited."
"The vibe, reputation and the whole application and interview process at DI felt so good and genuine. The people here really want to see you succeed. They look at the person as a whole and I think everything in life should be like that! The other thing I really liked about DI's program versus other programs was the required internship. I also liked the small-school feel and the fact that it is completely geared towards interior design."
But it still was a scary decision; Sara didn't know how to draw, she knew nothing about how colors relate and she was always nervous and stuttering when speaking in front of people. "I was so scared and intimidated my first week because we all had to introduce ourselves and some people, like me, had no art experience and others had worked with designers or had been into art their whole lives and I thought 'am I going to be able to keep up'?"
The very first week, in her drawing class, everyone had to put their work on the wall for critique. They were asked to discuss their process and why they made the decisions they did and how they felt about it. "That took some getting used to but I'm so glad it happened. Especially with Amanda Farber, the art instructor, she's so gentle and you become comfortable really quickly."
Sara still sometimes worries about her abilities and compares herself to her peers but all along she's had a plan. "I knew I had something pushing me in this direction so I told myself that if for some reason if I wasn't good at it I would just have to work extra hard." An attitude like that has definitely helped Sara have a successful semester. "It's amazing how much I‘ve learned in just a semester! I've learned that it's all about process work. It's important because it is how you get to an end point. It's all part of the learning process." That learning process has been quick for Sara. She went from having no drawing skills to ending the semester with work that anyone would be proud to call their own.
Sara's semester has been full of surprises. "I thought it would be very dog-eat-dog but everyone has been incredibly supportive." This is also true of Sara's relationship with her classmates. They are a varied bunch with all different backgrounds and skill levels but that has only worked to strengthen them individually and as a whole. "I have the most amazing class. They are so talented and nice and everyone has their own story. As far as ability, it's all over the board, and that has been great because you get a glimpse of where you can be, and a place to put yourself with practice. We all work together and the people with more experience help the people with less experience and it's just a lot of fun. There's no sense of competition. We feel like we started together and we're going to finish together."
Sara has also amazed herself! She's opened up in ways she never dreamed she would. "I considered myself pretty quiet and shy and I started out that way in my classes but then it became such a safe and creative place and the instructors are so supportive that it's really helped me open up more and talk to my peers about ideas without being so self conscious."
HOME SWEET SCHOOL
"What is so amazing about DI (speaking from some who went to four different schools) is that people are here because they know exactly what they want, they are motivated, they want to be here, they're working, and they're on time. It makes such a big difference in my personal learning experience because I'm surrounded by people who want the same things that I want. Being in a class where everyone has a dream and a goal and is putting a lot of effort into their work is really inspiring. Plus being at a school that is just for interior design makes a world of difference."
Sara also volunteered on the DI team for the bi-annual Facelift event. "I loved it!!! It was great to be able to work out in the community and with kids to make such a big change to a family in the community so quickly. I could do that every day." She has also taken advantage of the guest speakers DI has brought in. "The one that stands out to me the most was Caroyln Sollis, the editor of home and garden magazine. She just really made me realize how endless the possibilities with Interior Design really are." And if that wasn't enough, Sara is on the DI Writing Committee that is working on developing a DI blog! Outside of school, Sara is working as an assistant to a local designer.
"I really felt I was able to assimilate into the whole culture because of how involved I've been. I feel completely comfortable here. And I feel comfortable in my abilities to accomplish what I need to accomplish because I know I have the help and resources here that I need. I feel like this is my college."
As Sara can attest, it doesn't take long for your education to change your life. And to think, this is only the beginning.
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