By Colleen Clark
Here are two of the Facebook statuses I made in the past two weeks:
“I have no idea if caffeine is responsible for poisoning me or if it is the only thing keeping me alive at this point but either way I don’t feel like a human anymore”
“I THOUGHT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE BUT NOPE I dID IT I RDRANK TO MUCH COFFEEE AND NOW EVERYTHING FEELS CRAZY AND MY HANDS WON’T STOP MOVIGN AM I DYING”
I think they pretty much summarize the culture of the dreaded finals season here at CCAD. Most of our last projects at the end of the semester are larger and more complex, and therefore require a LOT of brain power and caffeine. And then when you run out of creative juice, you replace it with more caffeine. Same thing happens when you run out of time to sleep. It turns out that scientifically, you can replace any necessary bodily function with caffeine.*
There’s a reason my classmates call themselves “The Mighty All-Nighters.” We are used to working hard and pushing our projects to be the very best they can be. We understand what it’s like to sweat over a project all night and then feel the relief of a positive critique in class. Art school is unique from other fields because each of our homework assignments require a conceptually unique new piece of art, every single time. We work hard.
So when finals come around, and we are asked to make our best work of the year, things get twice as exciting and twice as tough.
Here are some tips I’ve figured out that can help (some of these I follow more than others):
Somehow, I made it through okay, and if I can do it, anyone can do it. I had some wonderful classes and inspiring teachers this semester, and I got to make some of my favorite work. It all feels way more than worth it now that I’m on the other side, but there is no doubt that finals are a scary time indeed.
*You can’t really live your life on caffeine alone. But I have tried.
Colleen Clark is a senior majoring in illustration who enjoys looking at photos of dogs online, following NBC comedy series (specifically anything involving Tina Fey), and sharing her art and thoughts through her online blog.
The Life at CCAD blog brings prospective students and their families into ongoing conversation with CCAD students, admissions counselors, and financial aid staff—including occasional visits from other members of the CCAD family.