Time for a life update! I started Graduate school a few weeks ago at the VCU Brandcenter and it has been a total dream. Maybe I’m weird for being excited to back in school, but after working for four years, every time I would see someone in college it would be like this…
It is so refreshing to be immersed in a challenging and creative program that changes every single day. I purchased 320497 sharpie pens in every color, stressed about what to wear on the first day, tried to order a chic backpack (DO NOT ORDER THIS- I WILL ELABORATE LATER, BUT IT IS A TOTAL FAIL OF A PRODUCT), and just generally have loved the program.
Look at this perfect, adorable, back-to-school bundle Alisa gave me! (Side note, all of that chocolate is gone. It was consumed in a stress-fit at school at 1am (yes 1am.)
Change is weird, but I really do feel like I am finally making progressive steps to be exactly where I want to be in my life/ career… even though I don’t really sleep or shower anymore because our classes are all very demanding and scary:
-Just a little anecdote from one of our bundle of joy professors…
We had this hilarious presentation from a Brandcenter graduate during orientation that had lots of funny advice and weird pictures:
She gave a really great speech about leadership:
“As with anything else at the Brandcenter, you develop leadership by being thrown into the deep end and being forced to lead. Being thrust into a leadership position quickly gives you an idea of just how insecure you really are. I struggled with it. In a leadership role, I found myself getting defensive or depressed very quickly if someone else took the lead in a meeting or the group decided to go with an idea other than mine. I had the misconception that if I wasn’t running the show, I wasn’t a good leader. What a great way to develop the most massive chip on your shoulder.
Leadership gets confused with “being in charge.” Those concepts are almost as far away from one another as they can get. Leadership is never about dominating a group, but more about lifting the other members of your group up. As a leader, you are not there to show you are the best, but rather to bring out the best in every member of your team. So sometimes that means letting someone else lead a meeting or choosing someone else’s idea. It means staying out of your own head–the part that says destructive, untrue things like, “You haven’t said anything in a while. Blurt something out or the rest of the group will think you’re stupid” or “Don’t compliment her idea–if you do they won’t pick yours.”
Being a great leader is having the confidence to truly listen to the members of your team and using what you hear to help them create the best work possible. It’s very counterintuitive. We think people will like us and want to work with us because we are amazing, but in actuality people will like us and want to work with us when we make them feel that they are amazing. I wish I’d known that much sooner. ”
This has kept me during late meetings with many new personalities, stressful classes where you just cringe and hope you don’t get verbally accosted or that your work doesn’t get ripped up, as that is sort of the norm around here. Meeting new people has really been the saving grace.. bonding over many many alcoholic beverages after three hour long research classes. Nothing like a little stress drinking to fuel your creativity right?
Has anyone else gone back to school? If you have come through it successfully, any suggestions for still balancing your regular life? When do you find time to work out, bathe, cook, and sleep? I need suggestions!