University is a very different environment to high school, meaning that knowing what to expect was difficult, especially as this is a design course with a lot more freedom to be creative and as Conánn said, “there’s no wrong answers.”
This semester has been very well structured with each week helping us build our skill base and presenting us with new challenges. The lectures, workshops and tutorials have all been interesting and informative, as well as this, first hand stories told to us by Michael and Conánn have put in to perspective how necessary the skills will be for us when we enter professional environments.
Using the information we were given to produce interesting pieces in software that was unfamiliar to a few members of the group (myself included) such as After Effects and Photoshop gave us a chance to develop new skills and driven us to better ourselves. Something else which was entirely new to me was life drawing which was so beneficial and seemed to be taken for granted by members of the class. Looking back through my work from this semester it is clear to see how these classes have improved my proportions and perspective and hopefully we will have opportunities to attend life drawing classes again next semester.
Group work is another aspect of the course which was new to me, although in high school there were opportunities to work in groups, it didn’t often happen so working throughout the semester with different groups has been a new and interesting experience. There have been groups that have been wonderful to work with, where members gelled really well and encouraged and inspired each other but there have also been groups that were not so strong due to a lack of communication or other factors. Overall however, this has created an insane dynamic among all members of the class and we have bonded so much in a short space of time, learning and growing together along the way. The fact that everyone on the course encourages and supports each other has also made it easier for me, personally, to take constructive criticism and be more open to letting other people’s ideas influence my work.
The course does of course have it’s fair share of stresses, which is something that can be very difficult to deal with but the fact that there are other people relying on you working with them but no one forcing you to work has driven me to be more self motivated and determined, even when there has been times when problems out side of uni have affected my ability to concentrate on projects fully.
Addressing large groups of people with presentations each week has also been a struggle, especially when it involves trying to explain and convince people of your ideas. As the semester progressed, presentations became less intimidating and my abilities began to improve to the point where notes are no longer needed to prevent myself from messing up my words!