I find that some people are not aware of what Animation encompasses as a category of art. The result is that being a student in Animation school, like other studies, has its very own set of question marks for family and friends.
parent y: "WHAT does he do? .. design?"
parent x: "No no no, he does digital cartoons."
Well, allow me to kindly clear it up for you: an education in Animation includes extensive fine art and film-related skills - framing a scene, understanding Αnatomy, designing settings, sculpting, animating elements and natural phenomena, caricaturing personalities ...a plethora of other beautiful things... and above all: telling a compelling story! The tools they are using - pencils and brushes versus computer and tablet - are far less important than what they are learning to do with them.*
What is also lacking to general knowledge, is that there is a wider category that encompasses the individual veins and applications of animation: there is animation found outside of cartoons and animated movies. Most certainly, it is found in videogames and in live action film. Yup, neither Spiderman nor some agile monkey-like stunt double of his were needed to do his more extreme stunts... a good portion of the footage of him was animated... oh and cars and motorcycles in action movies and commercials are not usually just real cars and motorcycles!
To recap: an animation student should not be described in a roundabout way as someone who specifically does cartoons or incorrectly labelled as someone involved with one of the other many things he may find himself doing after his or her studies. ^__^
Going a little further, sometimes a question arises as to what makes good animation, beyond the fact that you need to "use" art skills to make it. I think it's obvious. C: The way to judge if a character, setting, or scene did or did not succeed in conveying emotion, is to see if it manages to make us forget it is not real, if it conveys emotion, if the characters seem to have their own will and idiosyncrasies. And the way to keep us interested in what you have made is to exaggerate reality, heightening it with imagination; or, to point out things about it we may not have noticed. Having said that, when I am visiting home, I don't mind saying, as I always proudly say to my grandma in Greece, "I am studying how to make Bugs Bunny".
* They are likely switching constantly between both traditional and computer-generated art within single projects.