Dear Future Designers

If you are reading this, you are about to embark on a wild ride through your first major specific course at Newhouse. Congratulations! While it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of new material at the start of a new semester, there are some important things to keep in mind. I’ve created a list of my most valuable pieces of advice for the future students who will be in the same spot I once was.

  1. Plan Ahead. Be Deliberate. Don’t Procrastinate. It can be difficult to plan for projects far in advance because you feel like you have months to complete them. Time between projects is way shorter than you think, and I have put myself in too many situations where I was crumbling under the pressure. Even if you believe that you have great ideas and remarkable talents, design cannot become fully developed right away. Allow yourself to have ample time to test out a couple of designs before the assignment is really due. It’s important to go through the trial and error process earlier rather than later. Not only will you allow your concepts to develop further, but you will alleviate some stress if you do not wait to start an assignment late.
  2. Don’t Be Shy. Professor Strong loves her job and loves her students beyond belief. It can be very intimidating to talk to a professor one-on-one sometimes, and can be even harder to make yourself open and vulnerable for critiques. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and connect with Professor Strong, she wants to get to know you as a designer and she wants to help you more than anything. The same goes for your classmates; they are going through the same struggle as you are and are more willing to help than you may think. I am so grateful that I was able to bounce some ideas off of my peers and they were always available for advice when I asked. Not only will you get help in design, but you will probably make some new friends too.
  3. Lastly, Love Yourself and Be Willing To Work Through Mistakes. There have been plenty of occasions where I have made errors on projects or jumbled up words during a presentation. It’s okay. This class can be difficult and tiring, but it is meant to train us for the real design world that we will encounter in the future. The important thing is to recognize that failures happen to everyone and will only help shape us into a better person. If you bully yourself too much on assignments, you will lose passion for the work you create. Love your work and love yourself.

Following my advice might not be easy at first, but I hope you get here in the end. The design community is powerful and vast, and we are all here to help you and push you further. You just have to believe in yourself too.


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