5 BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS FOR CREATIVE STUDENTS

Here’s a fun game… pick two. Social life, enough sleep, good grades. This is a post for all the aspiring young designers out there! Whether you’re just starting out or finishing up your design education journey, here are 5 back to school tips for you. These tips are in no particular order however...

INVEST IN A PLANNER

One of my top recommendations to design students is to invest. In. A. Planner. Maybe you call it an agenda, it doesn’t matter, get excited about organization if you’re not already. Time management is one skill that you will absolutely need throughout your entire career. Get yourself a functional planner that looks good and suits you. Once you find the one, you’ll find yourself excited to fill it out while keeping yourself organized and on top of all your projects and due dates. Don’t underestimate the power of a good planner.

 Recommend: Passion Planner https://passionplanner.com/

PRACTICE YOUR PROGRAMS

Okay September, we see you. As you start to wrap your head around the fact that September is quickly creeping up, you’re about to be bombarded with back to school commercials, and that summer is almost over, take some time to hit refresh on your software skills. Maybe it’s AutoCAD? Revit? SketchUp? Any of the Adobe programs? If you don’t need a refresher, then you could also take the time to start teaching yourself a new program. I promise you won’t regret that extra effort.

BUY YOUR TEXTBOOKS SECOND HAND

Believe me, I know how satisfying it is to unwrap a fresh textbook. The smell, the perfect corners, the crisp pages; it’s great, but believe this too. Two out of three times, it’s not worth the money. If you get on it early enough, you can find used textbooks in good condition at your own bookstore, and don’t forget to look on Facebook Market, Craigslist and Amazon. Take the time to compare prices! Often times Amazon Prime will sell new textbooks at a lesser cost than your schools’ bookstore. Personally, I’ve purchased two textbooks (one new, one used) on prime, for the cost of one at my University’s bookstore. Learn to love used books, and save those coins! 

Recommend: Sign up for Amazon Prime. Compare prices.

FIND YOUR STUDY SPOTS

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While I was in school, my dining table served not only as a dinner table, but a drafting table, a work surface, a sort of shoulder to cry on, and a place to rest my head (occasionally at 3am). If I wasn’t tackling my homework at home, I was either working in the library with friends, or at either of my top two coffee shops. 

Knowing what environments you work best in, is just as important as understanding what type of learner you are. For example; if I was drafting, I loved to work in a coffee shop for the ambiance, movement and background chatter, and I also discovered how much natural light fuels my productivity, so I always tried to sit nearby a window wherever I was. On the other hand, if I was doing my dreaded readings, I needed to be in the library, in a silent study, at a desk with the three privacy screens. 

It’s important to know which environments you work most effectively in when tackling different tasks. It won’t hurt to have a change of scenery, so it’s good to have a few go to spots.

FIGURE OUT WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED AND INSPIRED

Beware, NO ONE is immune to the mid semester slump. 

Let me explain now exactly what is going to happen. .

-       You’re going to get excited about your back-to school shopping.

-       You’ll tell yourself that this is youryear.

-       You’ll manage your social life, health, and workload for the first couple of weeks before the lack of sleep starts to catch up to you. 

-       Once you’re deciding between holding on to what’s left of your social life and sleep, you’re going to need to remember what it is about design that you love.

Try relating how you manage stress and what keeps you motivated and inspired. Maybe you like being outdoors or running. Surely a good workout will have you feeling like new. Does a walk through some beautiful downtown architecture keep you inspired? What are your favourite interior designers working on these days?  Go read up on your top design blogs. Listen to a few Ted Talks about different aspects of design to keep you motivated. These are all tools you can collect and use when needed. What works for you?

Recommend: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmMrZyVANUo

BONUS TIP

Load up that Starbucks gift card!

-       JBD Team

Don’t be selfish now. Please share these 5 back to school tips for design students with your friends and classmates! Leave a comment about your back to school tips + trick to be entered in a drawer for a $50.00 Starbucks gift-card.

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