When many people think about UAB, they think about STEM students and our medical program. What they often fail to realize is that UAB has a thriving arts program and that many of UAB’s STEM students are also involved in the arts. Here are a few ways that some students at UAB have benefited from their connection to the arts.
John Ellis Kuykendall, a senior majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Chemistry and Psychology, had some words to say about the arts: “The arts have been so helpful in my education. When memorizing structures of molecules or anatomy, taking the time to draw it out helps to solidify it in my brain. The arts also offer the great ability to create with no boundaries. Coming up with something new and bringing it to life offers an outlet for creativity that I believe strengthens my skills in STEM. I think people see the arts as being something completely separate from STEM, but really they work in tandem to make each other better.”
Ella Stanley, a junior majoring in Economics with a concentration in Politics, Philosophy, and Religion and a minor in International Business, echoed some of those sentiments: “While I am not pursuing the arts at a collegiate level, it does not mean they don’t play an active role in my everyday life or are any less important to me. After making the shift from high school to university, I found myself spending the majority of my time focused on my major and my classes. During high school, I took multiple classes that fell into the arts category and was involved in many different extracurriculars that had to do with the arts. I found that in high school I had built-in time to be creative and to focus on things that I not only enjoyed, but things that had nothing to do with my academic life.”
It can be tricky to find a balance between academics and the arts. Stanley has experience in finding a way to engage both: “At the beginning of my college career, I went through a period when I felt I was ‘too busy’ to take the time to be creative. After realizing that making time for me to be creative improved my productivity and mental health, I found a new appreciation for the arts. I find it to be incredibly rejuvenating and therapeutic. I also realized that you do not need to be a master to enjoy an art form. I believe everyone is, on some level, creative and should make time to express themselves in that way. I also think it is equally important for those pursuing an art degree to make time to be creative without the pressure of a grade.”
One way that you can be involved with the arts is to submit your work to this year’s edition of Aura. The deadline is Oct. 14th, and you can submit your poetry, prose, and visual art through the link on our website. Embrace your artistic side, and submit your work to Aura!