Illustration depicting Performance Anxiety


Illustration by Daniel Baxter

It’s common for first-year or transfer students applying to the fine arts program at Rutgers University–Camden to be particularly anxious. After all, they are required to audition or submit a portfolio. Brandon Borrelli, assistant program coordinator in the Department of Fine Arts who schedules the decisive meetings with faculty, pinch-hits to calm the nerves of prospective students and those already enrolled in arts programs. “I understand the responsibilities, stresses, and emotional traumas that students face,” says Borrelli CCAS’14, who has considered pursuing a psychology degree. “These difficulties can have a psychological impact on visual and performing arts students and their creative work. They ask me: ‘How can I be best prepared?’ ‘Maintain strong personal motivation—but also strong peace of mind,’ I tell them.”