By Colleen Clark
It’s Monday morning.
Ideal: This weekend I completed lots of hours of my project, and emailed my teacher to show her my progress. I enjoyed some quality time with my friends while we all did homework together and critiqued each other’s work. I got to spend time doodling and getting ahead on personal projects too! Now I am well-rested and ready to face the week.
Real: Oops. I went to see Captain America: Winter Soldier at the midnight premiere on Thursday, which messed up my Thursday night homework plans… and then I had work on Friday morning and my student group on Friday night, and on Saturday I really should have ordered my new business cards but I’ve become really addicted to that show Shameless… So I might have watched almost all of Shameless instead of doing homework. Now I had to do homework all Sunday night and Monday morning, and now I’m guzzling energy drinks to get me through the day! I AM NOT WELL-RESTED OR READY TO FACE ANYTHING.
I would feel embarrassed to admit all of that if my experience wasn’t the norm for all college students. I hate to say it, but a lot of weekends don’t end up going as planned, and even those with the healthiest study habits will eventually slack off in one area or another. As long as you get your work done in the end, and you take a few extra steps here and there to make sure you are in OK health, you should make it out alive. Here are some more examples of the ideal vs. real experience:
You just got a three-week assignment!
Ideal: You start sketching as soon as you get the assignment, working out some basic solutions. You ask a few friends and teachers: how does this look so far? At the next class, you get approval from your teacher on your brilliant idea and all of your peers are jealous: why didn’t we think of that?! They gape in awe at your superiority. You continue to make progress class by class and by the second week, people are crying when they look at your piece. You finished before the deadline. You post your piece online and it makes you famous. You win 10,000 awards. They display it next to the Mona Lisa. No, they remove the Mona Lisa, throw it in the trash! Your piece takes its place.
Real: You had a big project due right before this one, so you can only scramble two days before it’s due to think of a concept. Uh, what was the assignment again? What was I supposed to make? You can only kind of think of one OK idea and you get to work on it before you have any time to think about it. You make a few mistakes and hope no one will see them… and then you stay up all night to make something that can kind of sort of pass as completed if you squint. Somehow, when you turn it in the next day, your piece isn’t even the worst, because THE WHOLE CLASS DOES THEIR WORK THIS WAY. You say you’re going to go back in and fix all of the problems after class… but you don’t do it until months later, if at all.
You got invited to a party!
Ideal: Wow! You got all of your homework done in the morning so you’re free Saturday night! And you look beautiful/handsome/radiant. You totally have lots of clothes without paint, oil, grease, or graphite stains. You go to the party, dance a ton, meet lots of new attractive people… and who is that?! Your future husband/wife? Yes. You two meet at this party. He/she is a law student. You two graduate college and start a life together. You are both very rich. Beautiful.
Real: Uhh a party? Tonight? You put off your homework until now, and you have to work tomorrow… You swear that you’re only going to go for an hour and then come back and do homework. No way. You’re dumb for thinking that. All of your friends are there, and everyone looks just as tired and paint-stained as you. You get caught up complaining about an assignment and talking about your favorite shows and comics all night, and then you come home five hours before you’re supposed to be at work. It’s OK… you just won’t sleep Sunday night.
You just got some money as a gift!
Ideal: Wow, you can finally buy those paints you wanted! And maybe some new canvases… oh, and you need a new set of ink brushes, as your old ones are getting dried out. You use your money responsibly and wisely.
Real: You spend it all on food. Every last dollar. Sweet, delicious food.
Luckily, this is a bit of an exaggeration. Whatever time frame students use to make their pieces, they manage to make some beautiful stuff. Everyone can relate to the pattern of procrastination and stress, but college wouldn’t be college without it… right?
Colleen Clark is a CCAD senior majoring in Illustration who wishes Star Trek was real. She loves comics, puppies, 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.