My Art Class Saved My Semester

Erika Granath has studied Journalism and Multimedia at the University of Sodertorn in Stockholm, Sweden. She has also taken classes in Mass Communication and Art History at Georgia College & State University. In the spring she’ll take online classes in video editing and have an internship with a production company in Atlanta, Ga.

Twice a week this past semester I went to a building across the road from my school’s main campus to drink coffee, laugh and talk about what I really love. I even got credit for it.

Every Thursday and Tuesday I had Museum Studies. As an exchange student the application process to classes is a bit different from the way the native students register for classes.

I got a list of all classes at Georgia College & State University while I was still in my home country Sweden. Then, it was still a couple of months left until I was going to get on that twelve hour flight that took me to Atlanta.

I remember thinking that most names of the classes just came out as words I hardly understood. I took a guess and picked a couple of classes that sounded like they would teach me things in the field of journalism. I’m a mass communication major.

I had to pick ten classes I could consider taking. Out of them I would get five. The first ones were easy to choose. I picked classes that sounded strategically and résumé smart to take. Soon I had chosen eight classes. Two left.

I couldn’t find any more classes that really suited me so I just pick two random. The chance that I would get any of them didn’t seem that large.

I’d done some sculpturing on my spare time before. So I put a little check in the box next to the class “Ceramics”. One to go. I read: “Museum Studies”. Yea, why not. I like to go to museums. I love art, as a hobby. I put a check in the box next to that class too. Done.

It took a couple of weeks before I got my schedule. I had got the Museum Studies class.

My journalism classes was like a crash course in the American way of working with media. I learned so much everyday that it sometime felt like my head would explode. I was in the editing lab or the library until late every evening in the beginning of the semester.

My Museum Studies class was different. I didn’t have that much homework in that class. I learned a lot but not in the same overwhelming way. That class was smaller and it was held in another building than all my other classes.

At first I regret writing the check in the box next to this class on the application form. It was fun. However, I wasn’t in school to have fun I thought. I wanted to learn as much as possible!

With time I reconsidered. Everything can’t be about performing all the time. That will exhaust even the most enthusiastic student sooner or later.

This class became my oxygen in a stressful college life, a place where my classmates (and the professor) became my friends. Not only people I did work with. Here I drank coffee out of porcelain mugs instead of to go paper cups. And I laughed instead of sigh.

I might not use what I learned in this class as much in the future as I’ll use what I learned in my other classes. Still, without this class I’m not sure I would have had the energy to learn that much in the other classes.

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