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November 23, 2012
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Looking to do a digital art university course at age 25...

:iconpseudolonewolf:
Pseudolonewolf Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm 24 now - I'll be 25 at the start of the next university year - and I never properly went to university. I *sort of* did, to do a Games Development course, but I lived at home at the time because it was a five minute walk away, and I was suffering from anxiety problems so I rarely attended lectures or anything. I also started mid-way through the year... and didn't make a single friend or anything. Then I *moved country* with my family, dropping out after less than a year.

Since then, I've been trying to make games independently from my bedroom, essentially wasting away the years, and I've not made a single friend since I moved.

I've been focusing more on art, realising that this is more my forte than programming stuff ever was. I'm not technically-minded at all, and while my art skills have suffered from years of neglect, I'm trying hard to catch up now, and I would like to do a course to further improve my digital concept art sort of stuff, so then I could make better art for my games.

The main reason I'm thinking of going though is for the social benefits; the chance to meet like-minded friends. This is what I want to ask about, though!

Would people care that I'd be 25? I feel scared and old, and I worry that while people might politely talk to me in class, I'd have little hope of finding genuine, deeper connections with anyone. Or are people in my age range not all that uncommon? Would I not stand out?!

Another big thing is, uh... my life has been one long sausage fest. All the friends I ever had at school were nerdy guys, and I have a community website of my own, where I spend much of my time, and that too is essentially all males. It's suffocating, because I'm all sensitive and feely and not at all masculine, so I tend to feel misunderstood and frustrated when surrounded by guys (I say from *excessive* experience).
I crave to make female friends for the first time in my life, but I'm worried that digital art courses might be mostly male.

There are 'game art' courses that most likely would be, so even if they're the most relevant to my line of work, I will avoid them for that reason. But then there are other basic 'art' courses which seem more like fine art, which isn't what I'm interested in, or they're 'design' stuff which is more for company logos and that sort of stuff, which I'm not interested in either.

I'm the sort who draws dragons and wolves and stuff like that, 'Fantasy Art', and I'm curious about what kind of courses the people into THAT kind of art end up doing.

Another concern is that I don't guzzle the ol' grog, and have no desire to; I'm also very introverted and not *interested* in parties and things like that. Is it possible to meet other people who'd rather draw and play video games with me rather than going out getting drunk and being stupid? Or would I just end up a lonely alien for refusing to get into that world?

So if you have experience with university art courses, I'd love to hear about what the social dynamics are like, what the gender balance is like, which particular course you did, and whether I'd stand out too much for being OLD AND GRIZZLED!

Sorry about the length; I want to cover any assumptions before they're made!
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:iconlica-june20:
lica-june20 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Student General Artist
I don't think there's any problem with going back to school at 25. I've had friends in my university who were even older i had a classmate who i would call auntie because she was older than my mom and i was about the same age as her kid. there's nothing wrong with learning more and striving for your goal. As for the gender thing you can never really predict who you will be working with so please keep an open mind.

The male to female ratio also depends on the university and course. there will be a myriad of characters you will encounter in your time at a university and i believe if you be yourself and treat other people how you want to be treated then maybe you'll find one or two of those elusive good friends that you're seeking (regardless of their gender).

also i don't think partying is needed for university i've never attended one since i have never felt the need to. there's nothing wrong about not giving in to peer pressure. i think you are quite aware of your issues and that's good but just remember to keep an open mind about other people and im sure that will be reciprocated.

P.S.
I know how it feels to be a loner i was one before (a group of girls bullied me as a kid therefore making me avoid everyone more) but despite my mistrust i eventually found people with common interests (but very different personalities) who i could be myself around without any pressure. Maybe you just haven't found those people yet? i do wish you the best of luck and if anything i hope you continue your quest for knowledge.
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:iconcreatorsoul:
Creatorsoul Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012
Don't worry about your age. It may be a little strange for the people fresh out of highschool, but there are people who are 80 years old going back to school in university/college. 25 years is nothing in comparison...XD

Um...Just from a female-gendered perspective, I have to raise a point of concern after reading some of the posts. Most girls I know would not take your approach of meeting others for the sake of getting a partner kindly. People generally don't like ulterior motives when it comes to forming relationships, and for girls, that is even more so with regards to someone who wants to form a romantic relationship with them. Not that trying to find a girlfriend isn't a good goal to have, but you are going about it in a way that I think will be socially and emotionally detrimental for both you and the people you try and approach. As an advice, I think you should form relationships with others (regardless of gender) to see where they go, instead of how you want them to go, since a relationships is maintained by two people, and you can only control one.
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:iconpseudolonewolf:
Pseudolonewolf Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think this is due to miscommunication more than anything, and I wish I'd worded things better... D:

I would not enter into friendships with girls *intending* to make them my girlfriend, like some creep. Never!
Instead, I'd befriend people *as friends*, and only over the course of many months would I want a relationship to develop, IF we were compatible and there were mutual feelings and chemistry and stuff.
I've always hated it when people look for *strangers* to 'go out with', because it seems nonsensical to me; I'd only ever want an evolving, developing thing that started with being acquaintances, then friends, then close friends, best friends, and ONLY THEN, after months of knowing eachother well, would I want it to evolve into 'more than best friends'.

So I'd not lecherously talk to girls thinking "here's my next prey! Mwahahah!"; instead, I'd talk to them as people and befriend them for the sake of making friends.
It's just that with guys, there'll always be a 'dead end' to how far things can go, but with girls, there's a *possibility* that things *may* go further than friendship in the distant future. It wouldn't be my *goal* or anything, but at least the possibility is there.

Hopefully this clears up what I was trying to say before; it's embarrassing and awful thinking that I worded things so badly as to give entirely the wrong impression... D:
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:iconcreatorsoul:
Creatorsoul Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
Yes, thank you for clearing things up. I was getting a little scared with some of the postings...D8
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:iconravynnenevyrmore:
RavynneNevyrmore Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I'll be 28 in 2 weeks and I'm a junior in college. I look very young so most of my younger classmates don't even realize I'm so much older than them. Plus kids who went directly from high school to college never broke away from the linear structure and are conditioned to believe that anyone their grade level is also the same age as them. Meaning that they will assume you are their age unless it is made obvious to them that you are not. Young until proven older.

I have several friends who are also 25+, as well as a few who are in the early 20s but so mature that I forget there's an age difference. But honestly I have the maturity of a 24 year old myself so the gap isn't that big to me. The bigger problem is with younger guys who think it's weird that I'm a few years older than them, and they don't get that I'm obviously not in the same place in life as a typical 28 year old. If they got to know me and opened their eyes they would see that, but they hear a number and replace the reality of me with their stereotype of who a 28 year old is.

Art colleges usually have a higher female to male ratio. My school is about 60:40 female:male and that's pretty balanced as far as art schools go. If you take a course called "game art" or a major called "video game art design" or something then yes there's a likelihood that there will be more guys than girls. (I'm taking a course called Video Game Culture as my art history requirement this semester and I believe we have 4 girls to about 20 guys.) But if it's something more general like "digital art" or "computer art" or something to that effect than it should be pretty balanced. I think I know just as many girls as guys in our computer art major, though it's probably one of the more male-heavy majors at my school. And of course any art school major will require you to take foundation and/or humanities courses that will probably consist of students from different majors.


Another big thing is, uh... my life has been one long sausage fest. All the friends I ever had at school were nerdy guys, and I have a community website of my own, where I spend much of my time, and that too is essentially all males. It's suffocating, because I'm all sensitive and feely and not at all masculine, so I tend to feel misunderstood and frustrated when surrounded by guys (I say from *excessive* experience).
I crave to make female friends for the first time in my life...


Please don't be one of those creepy guys who is all like "OMG GIRL" when they're talking to you, giving you excessive attention because they think girls are these strange and interesting creatures and omg maybe one will have sex with them! It's super awkward and we want to spend as little time with those guys as possible. Girls are people. They're not marvels of nature.


Another concern is that I don't guzzle the ol' grog, and have no desire to; I'm also very introverted and not *interested* in parties and things like that. Is it possible to meet other people who'd rather draw and play video games with me rather than going out getting drunk and being stupid?

Why do you have no desire to drink?
Why do you equate going out and drinking with being stupid?
Honestly, you sound like a judgmental asshole who thinks you're better than people who like to socialize and drink a little alcohol. Maybe you don't even deserve friends if you're going to be like that. But yeah, I'm sure you can find like-minded judgmental assholes who just want to stay in and play video games and judge all those "stupid" people for doing "stupid" things like going out and drinking. Because it's not like adults should be allowed to responsibly enjoy alcoholic beverages without being branded a lowlife idiot or anything.
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:iconwhiskyomega:
WhiskyOmega Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Professional General Artist
Don't worry about it.

When I went to collage and then university there were plenty of 'older people' also in my classes, so it's not like it's uncommon.

I'm going to be 30 in two years and I'm thinking about going back to collage for a few more courses and it doesn't bother me; actually I've noticed many younger people approach the older folks as peers and looking for guidance in life they havn't experienced yet.
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:iconthisismyboat:
thisismyboat Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
To answer your other questions:
No, you will not be the oldest person there. I see people well into their sixties taking first year classes. Most people will be between 18-21, but no one really cares about age once you're in university because there's such a huge mix. Sometimes fourth year students will be taking first year classes for fun or to get that last credit they need, sometimes people come back to do another degree, etc.

Most of my arts courses are dominated by females (my studio class has only three men). Of course it depends on your school, as my school has a 6:4 female to male ratio anyways.

I don't drink and I'm very introverted. I need a certain amount of hours alone per day or else I get irritable. I don't really start conversations with strangers, yet I still managed to make three or four good friends within the first few weeks of classes. The key is being open to stuff. If someone adds you on Facebook, add them back and comment on their stuff. Compliment people you think are dressed cool. When someone talks to you, don't just give a one word answer and go back to doing whatever you were doing. Go out to events you like. You might get lucky and see someone from your class there, which means you now have someone to talk to with common interests (happened to me!). There's also going to be tons of clubs on campus for you. I joined a video game and a tabletop rpg club within the first few weeks, and though I didn't really stick them out (mostly because I always forgot to go) it was still good to see that there were options out there for people like me.
If you don't like drinking, don't force yourself to go to parties because you're just going to be miserable anyways. Some of my friends do drugs, but they know I don't, so they don't invite me to those sort of parties because they know I'd be uncomfortable. That doesn't mean we can't be friends. We still have a lot of fun hanging out in art classes or around town, but we do different things on Friday nights and that's okay. Your friends don't have to agree 100% or do everything with you.
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:iconmeggierenee:
meggierenee Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Professional General Artist
I say go for it! I'm 30 and I'm currently studying commercial art. There are people of all ages in my classes. I've had a hard time with school...I have schizoaffective disorder and had to go on medical leave a couple times. I thought I'd be the weird one, but there are so many different people with different situations at my school. I really think you will be fine if this is truly something you want to do. :)
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:iconakcordova:
akcordova Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
i think you should take the class! im just nearing the end of the first semester at the university i transferred to and i was worried. i didnt know what to expect about going to a bigger campus with people who had already been there for 1-4 years. surprisingly, i have made a few good friends and most people in my art classes are friendly. i am a few years older than some of the students, (21), but i dont see a problem with age. there are a few older people in some of my classes and no one judges them and theyre not 25, but probably in their late 30s and ive even some elders (60s).

RESEARCH the campus you want to take classes at. My university is not a party school, well at least im not invited to any haha,
and it is smaller in size than most but still big enough to be a little overwhelming at times.

As someone with few close friends and am mostly quiet, I'm telling you you should go back to school and keep an open mind. try not to feel the nerves too much. relax, be yourself, smile and be open to meeting people. i know that its hard, esp. if youre introverted BUT you dont have to be the loudest person in the room to make friends. :)

hope this helps!
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:icondorkface4:
dorkface4 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012
There are plenty of people who go back to university and are older than the majority of students. There's a lady in my graphic design course who is 40+. There was also a lady in my psychology course who had grandchildren. Obviously, they're not exactly going to hang out with everyone else since the age difference is so large, however, the age gap between you and the other students isn't as big so you shouldn't have any problems. Hell, if you look young the people in your course will just assume you're their age if you don't tell them (the people in my course assume I'm there age when I'm at least 3-4 years older).

Also there are plenty of non-masculine, sensitive guys out there. So even if the majority of your classes are male there will have to be atleast ONE guy who you feels the same way you do. Your ideal situation where you have a girlfriend and no other friends is unrealistic. You need a life OUTSIDE of your relationship, you need your own friends, your own hobbies/activities and time away from your significant other. Relying entirely on one person puts a lot of pressure on them and is unfair to them.

The idea that you only want female friends because it *could* lead to something further can be conceived as something creepy and it seems like you only want friends so that you can get a girlfriend. How about making friends with ALL kinds of people simply for having friends, building your social skills and your support network.
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