We have received our final results back for first year and I’m happy to say I have passed! I have delayed posting this blog until now as I wanted to take my time thinking back to what I had done and what I would do differently, I didn’t want to rush my review and cloud my judgement.
So first of all, what have I taken away from my first year?
I have learnt a lot, about Graphic Design, about myself and the student life (to a limit!). I already find myself utilising what information I have learnt when I am confronted with design work.
When shopping and I find myself attracted to a certain product I take a step back and wonder why that specific design worked for me. I also often find myself observing typography, something which I had never even given a second thought to previously. I’ve even looked further into coding, I actually find myself reading the codes for other websites I like and enjoy understanding what I’m reading (even if my knowledge is very limited!).
I have done a lot of evaluating of myself as a person, how I have dealt with the work load we were given this past year and how I’ve controlled my motivation. I found I worked best early in the morning when I had company and was in a quiet working environment. Outside of uni I have realised I work best to a deadline and enjoy setting myself targets yet have difficulty sticking to them – something I aim to improve during my second year. Since very young I have always found myself to be energetic in the evenings, when others are settling down and relaxing I get up and start doing jobs/make a cake/write a blog/anything! My poor partner has realised this since moving in together!
My (limited) experience of the student life has been enjoyable, I have met a lot of wonderful people, some of which I hope to keep in contact with and look forward to working with in the upcoming years. I have realised how much of a difference the support of a fellow student can make, even about subjects that expand university life! I enjoyed joining the choir although unfortunately this was only for a few months, it was nice to release myself from my studies for an hour a week and focus on music and friendships! I would like to join another choir this upcoming year as I felt it really helped me reconnect with my love of music, something I had lost when I left school.
Secondly, what advice would I give myself for going into second year?
I want to enter second year with a less constricted imagination. After seeing others works displayed amongst my own I felt I had put a lid on my creativity, perhaps something I forced myself to do when at school for fear of not being understood. I think once I can have confidence in my ideas I will become a stronger designer and have the ability to stem new and unique ideas in the future.
I also don’t want to be as nervous about other peoples opinions of me. Although I have improved on this a lot in the recent years I still find myself worried what others will think. I wish to have more confidence in my designs and know that even if what I have created isn’t used, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad design.
Finally, how do I feel about my results?
If someone had asked me a year ago what results I would want to pass my first year with I would have told them as long as I passed I didn’t really mind. After passing my first year (and being told it is impossible to achieve a 100% grade in an art degree) I wish I had gotten higher. I passed with module results ranging between 60% and 75% (we had 6 in total). I think it is positive of me to aim higher rather than simply settle for what I have achieved however I’m not on a journey to get the highest grade, I am on a journey to become a broadly talented, confident and professional graphic designer, with a wide range of abilities and knowledge on the subject and I mustn’t lose my focus.
I will face some big challenges in my second year, we are in the process of purchasing our first house and in order to keep up mortgage payments I must ensure I keep a steady income from work. I also want to keep up personal projects and better myself at relevant design software. In order to achieve my best at university, our new home, at work and self-set goals I will have to keep myself organised and motivated. I will keep up regular blog posts documenting the highs and lows of my journeys and ensure that throughout it all I have my final goal in sight, to establish my own small design firm (and enjoy life!).