In order to succeed in college and any other area of life, there are many skills and characteristics that are required. It is important to be self-aware, driven, disciplined and resourceful. College gives you all the necessary skills to open your own doors and walk through them.
But what if you do not want to open doors, but build your own doors? What if you want to find a new and interesting way to approach your life, even on a daily level? One characteristic that is underappreciated but as important as anything else is creativity.
Creativity is perceived as a more artistic trait that only impacts those who are in the arts. While it is true that creative people often have outlets such as visual or performing arts, it is necessary to use it to overcome struggles in daily life. There are many applications in a college student's daily schedule that require creativity.
Consider the dining halls, for instance. Everyone loves to complain about the food but not many people actually think of ways to make it work for them. The food that is prepared sometimes might not be what you want to eat. Instead of complaining, take pieces of food that are appetizing and create your own meal.
In Neilson Dining Hall on Douglass campus, you can easily make an open-faced avocado-based sandwich using some toast, guacamole and vegetables. You can also easily create a grain bowl using rice and vegetables from the salad bar. There are many ways to make the dining hall your own. Also, try different dining halls and figure out a plan to maximize your experience at each place.
Additionally, creativity is important when forming plans to study and managing your time. Doing the same exact thing every day gets tiresome and does not really help anyone to maximize their college experience.
Think of new routes to walk to get to classes and new places to study in. Think of alternate methods to study material as well. If you have a lot of terms to memorize, make a song to help you remember or draw a picture. Use funky pens and markers to write with and mix up your daily routine. The more interesting you make your study sessions, the more memorable they will be, which in turn, will help you to perform better on exams.
Come up with new ways to get your work done quicker as well, part of time management is learning how to work smarter. A creative mind can come up with realistic solutions to the mountains of homework college students are faced with on a daily basis.
There is even room for creativity when it comes to the buses. Try taking new bus routes to get around to the places you need to be. Try connecting routes across campuses to explore new areas. Also, when it is not too cold out, try to get off at an earlier stop and walk to your class.
This will decrease your time spent on the bus and give you the opportunity to explore and burn some energy before classes. Listen to music and make a different playlist for each bus ride.
It can be very easy to get stuck in the cycle of everyday tasks in college. It can also feel difficult and exhausting to be creative at times. The cold hard truth is: Being creative and revamping your daily routine take energy and time. Being creative will help you to go further in both your daily life and your career.
On a larger scale, being creative will enable you to be an innovator in your field and come up with new and interesting ideas. In order to get to this step, it is important to start small and expand your creativity in everyday life. College requires a lot of restrictive characteristics, but creativity will make those characteristics optimal and help you to become an all-around better person.
Julia Fuchs is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in history and anthropology and minoring in French and archaeology. Her column, "Questioning Jules," runs on alternate Thursdays.
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