University doesn’t teach you everything
There’s no way lecturers can cram everything into those three years. Don’t expect to come out of uni and be the Steve Jobs of graphic design. University is just a stepping-stone. Although it feels like you’re at the top, you’re actually right at the bottom of the pile. Don’t forget that you’ve got your whole life ahead of you. It doesn’t matter what degree you do, creative or not. You will come out of university with core skills.
Experience really is the best way of learning. There are things I’m still finding out about a year into my job that only work and errors can teach. Look to people that have years of experience under their belt and be willing to learn from them. If you’re hungry to learn more, do an MA. Want less debt? There are a number of free ways to learn like YouTube, Skillshare, Briefbox or you know, those paper things collecting dust on your bookshelf.
I’ve also been pretty active on social media for the past five years and I can’t count the amount of opportunities that have arisen for me through that. We’re really lucky to be the generation that’s getting the equivalent of a front page newspaper ad saying “Hey look at me” so make the most of that!
A fear of failure will cause failure
Grades don’t mean anything, as long as you pass. I still to this day hate that throughout education everything I did was to please an examiner, to fit into the guidelines and the marking schemes. Sadly, as necessary as they are, I found that grades hindered my creativity; they stopped me from being as creative as possible and experimenting. In my second year I fell a victim to fearing failure, I was getting so worried about my sketchbook work that I lost focus on what was important, which was enjoying the work I was creating. I live for the day when whoever creates education rules realises that every individual learns and thinks differently.
There’s more to life than work
When you’re at uni, a career seems like the most important thing. You’re wrapped up in getting good grades and freaking out about your deadlines – all to get a good position. I’m happy in my job, but I’ve come to realise there’s more to life than work.
I wish I’d improved on and finished all of my projects. A year on, I’m still in the process of completing my website and there are still university projects that haven’t seen the light of day. Projects like this become extremely hard when you’re working full time, and it’s easy to lose motivation for something you started 12 months ago.
From internships to launching startups and everything in between, we’re looking to showcase a variety of experiences across the creative industries. So whether you’re a recent graduate or creative with a lesson learned or story to share from your first 12 months, get in touch at [email protected]