Student Life

In 250 Words: Channeling Creativity In Your Academics

Pastel crayons in the spectrum of the rainbow

In the 250 Words series, the RU Student Life writers are posed a question, and in 250 words they each offer their insights. Read previous entries here.

Question 21: How do you channel your creativity in your academics?

Jessica: Finding Artistic Ways to Solve a Problem

Despite being in program that quite literally has the word “creative” in it, I find myself creatively unstimulated at times due to the heavy-in-theory aspect of the courses. Unlike other FCAD programs, Creative Industries is unique in the sense that most students will go on to have careers in the business side of the creative sector. This means that we won’t be creators and artists in the “traditional” sense. In fact, most of my digital portfolio comes from working experience I sought outside of my academics.

In Creative Industries, we’re encouraged to channel our creativity within a confined structure, finding solutions that fit the scope and paradigms of our projects. Honestly, I find my creativity is less imaginative and more purposeful since I’ve been in this program. At times, I do wish my program was more hands-on, allowing me the freedom to create in a more tangible and expressive way. But at the end of the day, I chose this particular program for a reason. I enjoy the challenges of finding artistic ways to solve a problem.

As so, I hone in on my creativity through the topics I select for my academic papers. I explore theories and conduct research that genuinely interests me. In this way, there’s a creative element in my writing because I’m constantly learning and unlearning. Between my role as a Storyteller for RU Student Life and my academics, I usually find ways to I stay creatively satisfied.

Maxine: The Evolution of an Idea

I think that being creative helps me to solve problems that might arise in my academics because I’m used to trying new things all the time. It’s easier not to get discouraged when things don’t go according to plan if you’re used to things not going according to plan. Finding out what doesn’t work gives you a place to start again and I’ve learned to let that inspire me rather than leave me feeling defeated.

As a writer, I’m used to the process of drafting and coming back to an idea again and again until I finally get it right. I approach school assignments the same way, letting my ideas develop over time rather than stressing to get everything done at once. Editing is so important because creativity doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It is always subject to influence and I think it is important to approach academics with this facet of creativity in mind, giving your ideas the chance to evolve and improve.

To me, creativity arises in my academics through that evolution. I am always learning and growing, finding new ways to solve problems creatively. Creativity is the driving force in this process of problem-solving, reminding me to stay open-minded, trusting that the ideas will follow.

Sunita:  Making Space Outside of Class

Since I’m studying Media Production my academic space tends to be very creative – at least that’s how it should feel. But sometimes when creativity and academics become so intertwined it’s difficult to separate the two. I remember being in high school and filmmaking and scriptwriting were my favourite hobbies because they were unrelated to any of my mundane schoolwork. Producing was my passion, and the best thing about it at the time was that I wasn’t getting graded on it. It was simply a space where I could unleash my thoughts and creative energy without worrying about it being perfect. Although I love my program, at times I find that pursuing my creative passions professionally has actually taken a lot of the joy out of making something just for the sake of making it.

Now, I’m so conscious of the fact that people will view my work and offer criticism and put a grade on something that I think is so subjective, so I’m a lot more hesitant when it comes to sharing my ideas. I think it’s important to remember that whether you’re in a creative field or studying something entirely different, it’s crucial to have a space that isn’t related to your academics at all where you can rediscover what made you love your major in the first place. Sometimes I’ll paint or write a story nobody will ever read or do something that’s different from my program but that’s still creative, just so that I remember the simple joy of making something in the first place. Being able to have that space helps me do a lot better academically.

 

How do you try and remain creative within or outside your classrooms? Let us know @rustudentlife.

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By students, for students: RU Student Life is dedicated to sharing stories of what it's really like to be a Ryerson student. We strive to make everything inspiring, informational, amusing, useful, and critical, and we believe every one of us has a story worth sharing. Visit studentlife.ryerson.ca/about to find out more.