I'm going to continue to wrap loose design ends these next couple days but as I've done with past projects, I'm going to take a look back at this year not necessarily to make remarks on what I could have done differently (there's a lot) or projects I could improve upon (also a lot) but rather, to take a look back and reflect on what I've learned, because my friends, there's a whole treasure trove of that.
1. Sophomore review year will challenge you in ways you never imagined. It's a struggle but take on that struggle head on. Be weary but don't be afraid. Put that nose to the grindstone. You will get through it.
2. You will lose sleep. You will learn to rely on caffeinated drinks to a somewhat unhealthy degree. Invest in multiple coffee pots, drink up, and feel the energetic buzz.
3. Professors will tear you down. They will take pencils, red sharpies, even scissors to work that you've stayed up till 3:00 AM trying to finish. But once they've torn you down, the good professors will help pick you back up again. They see your potential. They want you to succeed. Listen to them. Even if you think they're wrong, still listen. You will learn.
4. Exacto knives are sharp objects. They will cut your fingers. Badly. In order to achieve the best craft, always replace your blades. But remember, these new blades are sharper than ever.
5. Make friends with people whose have nurses for mothers. They will know what to do when you cut off your fingerprint. Bactine stings like all get out but it'll help you in the long run. Also learn how to text/type/do hot keys with one less finger.
6. The A&D will become your second home. Wait. No. Your first home. Keep food in your design locker at all times. You will eat meals there, many, many meals. Also get used to eating meals by yourself in front of a screen. You will learn to cherish meals eaten with loved ones that much more.
7. Keep. Moving. Forward. You will work your butt off and still stand back from something and say to yourself, "Holy Moses, this is a piece of crap." Don't dwell on it. Open a new document and start again. Sometimes, almost all the time, you've got to exhaust your crappy ideas before you get to the gold.
8. You will become a pretentious typographic asshole. You will start to make remarks on bad kerning, horrible leading, badly faked small caps, puke-worthy type choices. It will annoy people. A lot. Try to keep it (as much as possible) to yourself to maintain normalcy and friends.
9. Always look for new ways to get inspired. It's hard to do, but don't get caught in a rut. Get out of your comfort zone and find ways to keep falling in love to design.
10. Support your classmates. We're in this together. Take classmate's critiques with stride, accept their criticism and learn. We're one big, happy, typographic team. Viscom class of 2015, we've survived the year from hell. I am so proud of every single one of you. I know for a fact, I could never have gotten through it all without you. I have made so many friends that I know are going to continue to pull me through those late nights in the lab. And Lexi, I will continue to cherish the nights that we make motion together in the lab.
11. (Sorry that there's an awkward amount of lessons learned) Lastly, always remember the people who have helped pull you through it all.
To my family, your support and encouragement got me through some of the most frustrating of times. Dad, you always seem to know the perfect pep talk. I will always work hard and try not to get hurt. Mom, your cards in the mail always seemed to come at the best of times and say exactly what I needed to hear. Grandma, I have always loved reading your encouraging comments on my posts. Even on projects that I struggled through, your comments kept me going.
To Marilyn and Kristin, two women I look up to so much. You too have continued to read my blog and inspire me to continue to do what I love. And Marilyn, I will always be on the look out to find ways to incorporate sticks in my designs.
To Mrs. B, congratulations on the new studio space once again. You were the one who lit the fire for my passion for all of this so long ago. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me. I will never be able to treasure it enough.
To Erin and Taylor, you two are the gas that keeps me going. Your support of this passion I'm pursuing means so much. I know you guys don't always understand what I'm doing but you both try so hard to learn so you can support me in the best way possible. You've carried me through the disastrous critiques, the grumpiness when I don't sleep, the outrageously busy schedules, the projects from hell, and so much more. You've picked me up in my struggles and celebrated with me in my successes. I could never have gotten through this year without you.
I am so happy to officially say that I have successfully made it through visual communication review and will be returning, as a junior, to take on bigger and better design challenges. It's crazy to think I've made it through yet another year of design. Holy toledo how time flies.
Thank you again. I am so blessed.