There are a lot of balls to juggle when you start art school. It can be overwhelming, challenging and awesome all at the same time. I was lucky enough to get some good advice along the way that helped make my college experience run a little smoother.

Here are 5 organizational tips to help you survive art school:

1. Prep everything you need for the next day, the night before.

In my first year of college, one of my instructors gave the whole class this advice and it was a real game changer for me. I’ve never been a morning person, so I relish every extra minute I can sleep. When you’re working potentially late into the evening on homework, the last thing you want to do is be late for that crit that next morning. Having everything ready to go, including what you’re going to wear, saves those precious extra minutes and the stress of trying to get everything together before you have to be out the door. You might even have time for breakfast now! 😉

2. It’s ok to say no to social outings and parties.
It can be really tempting when you are living the college life to want to go to all the parties and have the full experience. It’s good to have a balance between school work and downtime, but It’s also important to know when to say no to things, and that it is ok to. Treat school like your job. If you have a project due the next day you need to finish up, it’s probably not the best time to be partying.

3. Don’t leave projects to the last-minute.

I knew a few people in college that notoriously left most of their projects to the night before the critique. You may think you are just getting it done but you really are cheating yourself in the end. Remember you are paying to be there and you get out what you put in. Time management is an important skill to learn not only while you are in school, but for when you are out in the job world freelancing or working for an employer.

4. Use a scheduler or planner.

Use what ever method works best for you here. There are many productivity apps or even reminders you can set in your phone to help keep you on task and remember important deadlines. For a long time, I hand wrote things the “old school” way in a book style planner. Physically writing things down helped me remember them better. Again do what works for you best. Taking some time at the beginning or end of your week to schedule everything in will help keep you on track

5. Pre-make and plan meals on weekends or days off. 

If you are buying your own groceries and living either on your own or with roommates while in college this tip can also be a real time saver.  Pre-making either your breakfast or dinner or both for the week can really help save on time and money. If you know you have a particularly busy week coming up, you can pre-plan your meals and might be more likely to make healthier choices when you are not having to make a split decision. If you don’t want to make your meals ahead of time, at the very least make of list of what you want to have for dinner for that week. That way, you can pick and make something from your list. It still cuts back on decision-making time and will help you plan what to buy when you go grocery shopping for the week.

Next Art Student Advice Post:

The Good Thing About Bad Critiques

Previous Art Student Advice Posts:

Art Student on a Budget

Why I Went to Art School

Choosing the Right Art School For You


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