Graduation is fast approaching and I thought I would share 5 things I am doing in order to prepare myself for the future. By no means are any of these steps tried or tested and I don’t know if they are useful, but at this stage this is what’s giving me peace of mind.
I am definitely not qualified to actually give advice to anyone, but these might help to anyone in the same position, not sure where to start.
1 Counting Pennies
Something I have strived to do, and by all means mostly failed at, is saving money. I had the best intentions but despite it all I have very little to my name. As the reality of no longer having a student loan drop into my account every term is kicking in, I am organising my finances as best as possible. In addition to no longer having a loan, I will also no longer be exempt from Council Tax (which is a little more than I anticipated). With all of this in mind I am getting a little more savvy with my spending, and putting a little away when ever I can for a rainy day (by rainy day I mean bills).
I have been used to the school system my entire life, I didn’t take a gap year and I haven’t gone for long that a few weeks without a timetabled structure to my days, weeks and months. Once Uni is inevitably over the structure will be gone, for longer than just the holidays. This in mind I am giving myself deadlines, long term and short term goals.
3 Building a Business
As I wrote about in my last post, I am desperate to start my own little business, nothing massive, but something that is mine. I am taking steps like money planning, research, product designing to be ready to launch myself into what’s still to come. I feel this is something that in order to be truly successful I need to know my market as best I can before I start, understand how everything works, and try to keep mistakes to a minimum.
4 Learning my limits
One trap I am very sure I don’t want to fall down is doing too much to quickly. I do not what to try to go full time in this area of my life without a back-up, as much as risk taking is kind of a given in this area, by no means do I want to slip up to early. I have learnt over the past 3 years that burning out does not suit me, neither does all nighters more than 3 nights in a row. That said something I am trying to get on top of is finding a balance and somewhere in that muddle actually having a day off!
Something Uni has given me is whole lot of stress. Yes, I know art school is so easy. (no, it’s definitely not, it’s just as valid as any degree and I worked my arse off for three years) but it also gave me a rather unattractive obsession with grades, this is something that really… no one cares about! And the problem I find when reflecting on my time, is that this ticking boxes kind of attitude will not serve me well in the future. Something I am doing to drop this approach is to step away from things, look at the bigger picture and consider more than other people’s opinions. They teach you to be your own person, develop your style, but only grade high if you experiment ruthlessly, continually do something ‘different’ to your usual approach. The problem with this is I feel I have lost a bit of myself. By no means am I putting my degree down, I have learnt so much and met amazing inspiring people. But, when looking at the kind of work I want to produce in the future, I feel I swayed away from that heavily in the last 3 years, and not always for the better.