Jillian Carroll (Class of 2024)

Blogger Role: Off Campus Art News

Major: Art Therapy

Minor: N/A

Clubs: N/A

I chose Marywood because as soon as I stepped on campus, it felt like home. Actually, I knew this before I ever visited! Marywood was one of the few colleges I found with an Art Therapy program, which was important to me. I was especially excited for the smaller class sizes which would ensure the building of relationships between students and teachers. It’s also only a 40 minute drive from my favorite place in the world – Lake Wallenpaupack, where my family has vacationed for over 80 years. Finding Marywood seemed like destiny. From the large open spaces of green to the close knit community, I knew that I would fit in well and would love every second being here. 

I am majoring in Art because art has always been an important part of who I am. I come from a family of artists and have always striven to live up to their example. I feel grateful to have had their support, which has allowed me to find a major I am passionate about. I hope to be able to use art to help those who may benefit from it and promote a love of art in others. 

When I’m not in class, I’m either in the library studying in the Learning Commons or helping my friends study, or in my dorm. When I’m not doing schoolwork, I find myself watching movies, listening to music, or playing games with my friends. If I’m lucky, I’ll get the chance to read a good book, too. 

So far, my favorite art class at Marywood was History of Art I with Dr. Irwin, which I took as an honors class. In high school, I never really understood why there was such an interest in art history, but this class has truly opened my eyes. I realized the importance of understanding art in a cultural context. Through funerary texts, temples, and idealized statues, I was able to understand the morals and values of different ancient cultures and apply them to how I view art today. Suddenly, art wasn’t just something I did, it was something that defined groups of people – a universal link between all of humanity. 

The coolest thing I’ve done at Marywood so far was start college in a pandemic! With a start of the year like no other, activities have of course been limited, but Marywood has made it easier to handle such a strange and stressful situation by continuing to keep students as involved as possible. My favorite part was the Christmas tree lighting and the drive-thru holiday light show, which I wasn’t sure if we’d still have. Luckily, we were able to adapt to the situation and hold the tree lighting outside.

When I graduate, I’m not entirely sure what I would like to do. I’ve always loved the idea of using art as a means to guide talk therapy, and have always wanted to work with children. Right now, I’m interested in becoming a Child Life Specialist, which is one of the many jobs you can pursue with an Art Therapy degree. As a Child Life Specialist, I would work in a hospital with children and help to explain their procedures to them, or I would simply play, color, and hang out with them to make them feel less alone.

I’d recommend the Art program at Marywood because the professors here truly work with you and want to see you succeed, and you are able to make real connections with them. Not only that, but Marywood provides you with many opportunities to not only see art on display but to display your own. I’m especially looking forward to the annual Foundation Year Exhibition, which will show the work done by students in their first year of the art program.

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