The Present: On Freshman Year and Design School

In my experience of attending arts schools, which I’ve done since the first grade, I’ve learned a few things about the art world, and I honestly believed I was prepared for it all. However, today was a struggle. Not one of my worst days since starting college, but sometimes life knocks me down, I feel humiliated, and waking up to do it all over again is a drag. I’ve been told that’s the college experience, and unfortunately that may be true. I gone from having difficult roommate situation, a second difficult roommate, and thin finances and I felt hopelessness, loneliness and discomfort in my surroundings, and I was constantly rethinking my decision to attend design school and my thoughts for the future.

So far in my freshman year, I’ve had two roommates, several police calls, and a plethora of mental breakdowns due to my personal life. Living on my own, essentially, has been a learning experience. I have more freedom than ever, but I also have more stress. Leasing an apartment was a tragic mistake, and getting a full time job (unintentionally full-time) during finals of my second quarter was, once again, a mistake. But thankfully, I’ve persevered. I’ve just finished midterms for this quarter, and the end of the year is near, and I finally have a grasp on things. The one consistent move I made through all of the rough patches, including getting incredibly sick at the start of this quarter, was pushing through it all. I don’t think I could have done that had I not felt passionate about learning.

Although my background and experience in high school was different from design school, it’s pretty close in comparison to the way I’m used to learning, and every day there’s something more inspiring. There are downsides to everything, but taking a leap of faith and going to college away from home, even if only a couple hours away, was a decision that has helped me grow as a person. I still have many of the same anxieties I did in high school, but I’ve learned how to move past my extreme perfectionism and learn more on how to cope with stress and feeling less than stellar in my new life as a designer rather than a writer. I’ve experienced a lot of humiliation brought on by many factors, including today when I was covered nearly head to toe in dark brown charcoal in my 8 am drawing class, but I won’t let small issues define me. I’ve spent the majority of my freshman year with anxiety over not just my projects, but things that absolutely don’t matter right now. This anxiety hurt my personal relationships, my own ability to take care of myself, and I was pushing myself in the wrong direction by worrying about things like a hostess job rather than my school work and designs. Now, I’m able to appreciate the creative process and development, and while my major is still something I’m unsure about, experimenting in different areas and getting hands on experience has driven me in the right direction and I can only hope to move further in my thinking.

I’m proud of my accomplishments this year, and the learning experiences I’ve gained, the drive I’ve been able to support. I’ve never wanted to practice and learn so much in my life, and it’s almost brought me to a fault of curiosity, leading me down a rabbit hole of inspirational opportunities and ideas. Next year I hope to seriously take full advantage of what my college, SCAD, has to offer, as well as my own personal development and projects, personal relationships, and life. Life is about balance, and with a healthy amount of work and time to think, anything is possible. I’m hoping this summer to develop some new creative projects from all I’ve learned this year, and generate a greater ability to live and depend on myself and the experiences I’ve had, and hopefully, I’ll be able to get this blog off the ground, which I’ve been saying for a year, and fully develop myself into the person I want to be, without stressing myself out for not being perfect, or wealthy at 18.

I can look to the future for inspiration, but if I live in the present, accepting the things that take place, and am able to move forward from that, I’ll be able to truly appreciate life and stop worrying about the small, superficial things. Not to be cliche, but life is too short. That doesn’t mean to give up on the future, it means move forward and keep learning, instead of only living for the future or the past. I’m alive right now, the future isn’t guaranteed, and there’s nothing I can do to change the past. So I think, I’ll keep striving forward for my best, but I’ll be more mindful about not neglecting the present.

follow me on instagram @kenzielmorgan


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