University life is challenging for new students and can be a shock to the system. Attending University to study design or digital marketing requires a level of independent learning. It might be the very first time that you have had to take real responsibility for your education.
University can be a huge step up and learning curve from school and college in so many different ways. University attandance comes with so many more things to consider; from your learning style to applying good time management and coping with your new found indepence.
The creative arts and marketing sphere; are by there very nature time consuming prospects. Both require hundreds if not thousands of personal hours across your professional life time. Valuable time spent not just on study and University commitments but also on unsociable self learning and private testing.
Creative Study Skills to Help You Through University
For instance it is all well and fine completing a graphics module in your digital arts course. Or doing well at the email marketing module. Yet when it comes to managing a real world application will you have what it takes? You may need to satisfy future clients or meet revenue targets, that can be hard.
For example becoming proficient at Adobe Illustrator or understanding the intricacies of email automation sequences are skills that truly flourish form spending personal time, self learning and drinking lots of late night coffee.
You have to enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it then the drive, kick and motivation won’t be there. Your design or marketing University course is the catalyst for a future of self learning, experimentation, trial and error and the honing of the in demand skills, first forged in class.
So learning information efficiently is very useful for your creative education, but it can also provide you with transferable skills years after you’ve graduated too. It doesn’t matter what course you are studying; study skills are appropriate for all disciplines, not just design and marketing and should be carefully considered.
So how do you make sure that you’re adequately prepared for University, and how do you apply certain learning skills to help you make the most of it all?
Different Learning Styles
It could be a huge help to decide which learning method works best for you. This can make sure you use your strengths to your advantage, especially when it comes to revision.
Identify how you perceive information the most effectively, along with your best option for a learning environment. This can eliminate distractions while also making sure that you aren’t overdoing it!
For example, are you a visual, auditory or kinaesthetic learner? Some will learn better by reading, while others will benefit from carrying out a particular action to help them remember course material.
Multi-sensory learning might be a clever solution for you; in other words, combining various learning styles to get the most out of all of them. This could increase your chances of recalling important information, but it doesn’t necessarily work for everyone!
Learning Proper Time Management
Misuse of time is probably the most common downfall for University students. It’s the first time you’ve had to organise your own learning and use your spare time to further your knowledge of your course. University life is also a distraction particularly if you like socialising. Creative arts and marketing courses are by their nature time consuming. Learning to balance your study life with a social life is an important first skill.
Some of the common problems in attending a design and marketing course at University include misplacing art work, putting off marketing assignments and being easily distracted. By recognising where you are most likely to struggle can help you to combat it. Using specially designed revision tools such as online revision or productivity apps can help to boost your efficiency and provide focused material for you to use.
Note Taking and Self Learning
This could be especially useful in lectures and seminars if there is a discussion or debate taking place. Noting down points made by other students can help you to gain further knowledge and open up ideas that you might not have thought about otherwise.
Information that may not seem that important at the time, could turn out to be crucial for an assignment or link to other theories and ideas. Taking note of this kind of thing can help you to gain a copy of the material covered across the year. However, it’s important to learn how to take notes efficiently; instead of writing down every word, learn to note key phrases or quotes that could help you at a later date.
Remember in many cases, particularly when working with graphics software or with digital marketing tools there is opportunity to practice these skills further away from class. if you are motivated and you should be why not get your own copies of software used in classes. Practice new techniques while the knowledge is still fresh in your mind.
Lots of software used in digital marketing and design offers 14 day or 30 day trials. So if you wanted to practice with email marketing or try some PPC advertising or SEO strategies it is possible to do this even on a University budget. For example Canva is a cloud based graphics application that comes with a trial period. You could self learn and become adept long before a trial expires. Some companies may even be open to off the books subscriptions if they know you are a student.
Many ad networks offer vouchers, discount codes and promotional credits. You might even make some money, how motivating is that. At the very least you will gain advantage in your classes and your skills will be current and relevant to what employers need.
University Research Skills
As a University student, you will be expected to further your knowledge. Do this on your own by researching around the course topics. It doesn’t matter what course you are studying, there is always information available to read around the topics. However like I have said if your niche is design or digital marketing the need to put the hours in and learn tools and new techniques is ever present.
Where do you start, and where are the best places to look? You should have a course reading list which is always a good start, but you might want to look out for journals and special text collections; even industry-leading publications can provide you with a better insight.
For your own benefit, there are so many things you can do to help you understand your course. Many university courses, such as graphic design or business and marketing, are competitive and challenging; but completely worth it at the end! To help you on your way to a successful few years at university with online revision guides, take a look at Pastest.
Other Ways to Self Motivate at University
You could also start a blog in the digital marketing or design niche and write about your experiences. This also could drive incremental revenues that could be really useful while attending University. These kind of assets could also be valuable when your course ends. Either as a source of secondary income or as part of your digital portfolio. One that prospective future employers will likely find most impressive.