As the spring semester began to wind down, I found myself becoming very anxious — not because finals were approaching, but because I knew that I would have a lot more time on my hands than I was currently accustomed to. Most people I know would utilize this time to take summer classes, maybe to bring up their GPA or offset the amount of hours needed in a semester to graduate on time, at just below soul-sucking levels. I myself like to take time away from the creativity-crushing public education system, and use these moments to actually invent something — to step back from outside influences so that I can foster and hone my own originality.
Now to keep myself accountable but also motivated, I have come up with a simple system that I like to call “Write It Down and Get On With It.” This system is nothing more than an over-glorified list of projects that I would like to complete by summer’s end, or at the very least, start. Like most people I know that work on their own creative projects, we tend to skip around a lot; moving from one item to the next before actually finishing a project. Although this might sound counter-intuitive, I actually believe that it’s beneficial. Being able to come back to what you were working on and seeing it with fresh eyes has always done me wonders. Not once has a design or an app come out the way I visualized it; there are many small changes that could be spurred by other projects and these changes end up becoming something much better than what I originally intended. The ultimate goal is to always have something to work on, to always be building.
Most, if not all, of the projects on the “Summer 2015” list involve fostering my own personal design. They will involve natural and computer mediums with video, written and print media. These projects help me remember where I came from and help me solidify my foundation, which will eventually evolve into my personal brand — something I believe will be crucial when looking for employment or in my own entrepreneurial endeavors. This is the time to find what you are really about — time where taking risks can only help you.
I have come to realize that school isn’t everything; it is only a tool, and an expensive one at that. Knowledge and competency are the names of the game. To actually become proficient and competent, you need to take what you have learned and actually solve a real world problem — and I intend to do just that.