Written and Media by Kelsey Neier.
It seems like just yesterday I was a little freshman in Intro to Digital Media with some of my best friends. Four years flew by, and here I am, senior year, giving my portfolio presentation. My parents weren’t joking around when they said that those four years would go by FAST.
(skip to around 9:12 in my video)
I came to Greenville College having taken just one Photoshop class in high school. My school didn’t have many media programs at that time. The first two years at GC were spent absorbing as many media tips as Jessa, Deloy, and Jake could cram into my brain.
It wasn’t until junior year when I finally felt confident in my design work.
I’ll be honest, I made a lot of mistakes. The type I used for my very first poster freshmen year looked incredibly close to the dreaded Comic Sans (I know, critique teared me apart). I grew from that and learned so much from those early days of poor hierarchy and bad color choices.
I want to share my tips for those freshmen/sophomores who are in the same boat I once was.
1. Remember Practicum Credit
You need a lot of credit, and The Bridge church here in Greenville is an awesome place. Get in contact with their pastor Dave Bradshaw. Durley Camp was also an amazing place to work at over the summer. I was the Multimedia Director, and got to pour out the love of Christ onto those children and pray with them (while doing cool media stuff).
2. Save and Backup
Save all files in all formats. Put them in folders. Rework projects. Use those USB and external drives or you WILL REGRET IT. I’ve had to start from scratch because I didn’t backup my files. Seriously. Don’t do that.
3. Don’t Procrastinate
Get your website and resume done ASAP. WordPress themes are your friend. Check out some cool ones by Station Seven. Apply for jobs early. You all know how long it takes to do any sort of media project. FOREVER. We have all experienced that terrible feeling of turning in something right before midnight and being disappointed in ourselves and our work afterward.
4. Ask for Help
Never be afraid to ask your professors for help or go see a tutor. They’re there to see that you succeed. Listen carefully to feedback from your professors and classmates during critique. Lisa always gives great advice! Get to know the people within your major. Chances are they might be good at something you’re not, and vice versa. You can help each other out. Example: Audio Engineering & Programming were like foreign languages to me. Thankfully I had friends and tutors who did an excellent job explaining it all to me.
5. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
No one is great at everything. Some of us, like myself, came here knowing virtually nothing about graphic design but were interested in technology as a whole. Others have had much more experience in video/photography/animation/coding/graphics/etc. coming into college. That’s okay! Remember that comparison is the thief of joy. You have to focus on improving your own work.
I hope these tips help you out. Good luck to you all. You will survive, get that degree and graduate.
Check out my website to read some blogs and see what cool things I’ve been working on: http://www.kelseyneier.com/