Exploring what you want to do with your future is the first step; use your sophomore year to learn more about art and art history, about your abilities and aspirations, and about the depth of your interest in the field:
MICA's Artist's Guide to Choosing a College is a valuable tool as you consider college-level study of art and design. The publication includes a self-evaluation - twenty questions that help you define your interest in art. Sign up to receive a copy of our Artist's Guide »
Visit art museums in your city, in your state, in other areas of the country when you take a vacation. Don't just visit the permanent collections: go to the museums' websites to find out when special exhibitions will be showing.
Research artists. "Discover" new contemporary artists, old masters, and everyone in-between. Read art and design magazines, check out artist monographs from your local library, use the Web to find information on artists and art movements.
Draw, draw, draw. Drawing from life will give you skills - including value, color, line, and composition - that will enhance your approach to art. Even if you are not able to take classes outside of school, make artwork on your own time. Set up still lifes, and arrange mirrors or other reflective surfaces so you can create interesting self portraits. Draw your family and friends. Draw landscapes and cityscapes. Draw whatever you see in front of you. Frame what you see in interesting, dynamic compositions.
Keep a sketchbook or journal. Whether you use it for notes and rough sketches or fully realized compositions, create a common place to hold all of your ideas and observations.
Make art outside the classroom; get out of your comfort zone. Take a drawing class at a community college or at a local art center. Take a continuing studies class over the summer at a college near you. Try new media: printmaking, sculpture, video, collage.
Get in touch with your admission counselor. Contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission to find out who is in charge of applications from your state. Email your counselor to introduce yourself and begin a conversation about your interest in art.