How to Hold on to your Creative Self in College

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

Image from: Book Riot

Image: Book Riot

When we're in a new environment, it can be hard to keep the same habits we've held on to. When I graduated high school, I remember that one of the things that scared me the most was losing my "inner-creative." I'd been used to producing art on the daily--one could say that it'd been a "discipline" I practiced for years. Yet, the thought of life moving too fast in college made creating art seem impossible. Even though I did struggle with grasping who I'd been before I started my freshman year, I finally took hold of the artist inside me.

Finding Inspiration is Key

One of the things that helped me the most was being able to find inspiration in the things that went on around me. I started to "people-watch,"I traveled even if it was just down the block, I read, I listened to new music, and I took walks often. Sometimes we forget that experience can be a great guide in creating new work. A quick tip I'd share is to not be afraid to get out of your dorm, even if it's just to a local playground, try and change your perspective. There can be inspiration in anything if we focus hard enough.

Take Care of Yourself

My mother would always tell me that you can't run a car on no fuel. I'd say that a very important key in producing new art is to remember to take care of your physical and mental health. Don't ever try to burn yourself out to try and produce something. Creating is not a easy nor quick process and it is okay if you can't come up with something in a day or two. As the rest of the world says, "Rome was never built in a day." Get some rest, meditate often, and try your best not to stress yourself out. Things will come together in due time.

Make time for yourself

When I was at home, I would only write when I was in my "own space." When I say space, I don't mean somewhere like my room or my home. Your own space can be either a place or a feeling where you're at peace. If you make time for yourself often to enjoy your own company, you may feel comfortable and safe enough to form an idea in your head for a project or piece in the future. I feel like most times when we enter a new atmosphere, we tend to forget ourselves in the process. We forget what makes us comfortable, and at times are unable to function properly because we end up doubting ourselves constantly. Making space and time for yourself can re-introduce you to the #creative you thought you left at home, and your new environment can make them stronger than ever.

Remember that no one writer, artist, singer, or poet has it all together or is producing new content at a rapid pace. Art takes time, thought, and a lot of trial and errors before we can even speak the idea out-loud to ourselves. So don't worry, your passion and talent will soon speak for itself. Experience as much as you can, be open to be inspired, be nice to yourself, and make time for yourself you creative genius.

-Ashley Lauren

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