College is the academic milestone most people celebrate as being enlightening, inspiring, and lots of fun. You meet people from different places and take classes that may drone on a bit, but ultimately mold you into a person with know-how in whatever your desired field is. While you may spend a lot of time assorting slideshows or studying for tests, it’s just as important to find avenues to release your creative energy.

 

Enroll in Creative Courses

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Get your money’s worth and enroll in a course that challenges you. You’re already selling your organs on the black market to go to this school, why not reap the benefits and look into the multitude of resources available? Depending on your school, you may have access to classes that allow you to both learn more about the creative skills you’re tapping into and actually act on your desire to create. Visit the head of the department and chat them up to get more information about classes that allow you to do more painting or get you behind the microphone and learn the ropes of broadcasting. Make sure it fits your schedule and pay attention to any fees or special required materials.

 

Join or Start a Club

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Are the classes offered just not hitting the mark? Look into the various clubs and organizations on campus! There is almost always a club fair at the beginning of the school year, so make your way around the quad and add your name to the email lists of the clubs you find interesting. If the clubs on campus aren’t really your style, start one of your own. You’ll get to flex those entrepreneurial skills and get exactly what you want, all under your rules. Talk to someone in charge of campus life to see what steps need to be taken to get your club on the radar.

 

Venture Off-Campus

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There are so many cafes, bars, or studios that offer awesome opportunities for artists to promote their work. Check out the bulletin boards around campus or the local shops around town to see what kinds of events are going on. Stop at a sip and paint evening, or hit up an open mic. Bring your friends to support you and even inspire them to share their work.

 

Utilize the Internet

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In between studying and procrastinating (just how much space lies between the two?) you should definitely look into online sources for flexing those artistic fingers. There are sites like Draw a Stickman where you draw things like rain clouds, swords, and most importantly your stick figure to help the game move along. Virtual Piano lets you tickle the virtual ivories, and Neon Flames allows you to create your own nebula. Of course these are short-term, fun little activities to help pass the time, but anything can encourage creativity.

 

Keep Your Sketchbook with You

You’d be surprised by just how much everyday life can inspire you. The guy and girl chatting in line for coffee can make good characters in a short story. The squirrels you saw fighting in the quad would be a hilarious comic strip. Maybe your professor walked in with a brightly patterned shirt and the design is something you’d like to try to recreate. Keep your tools with you, whether they are a sketchbook, a journal, or just the recording app on your phone. The smallest things can inspire greater creations.

 

Use your time in college to not only study hard and make new friends, but use the tools provided to draw, make music, or write. Take an art class even if it’s outside your major. Step into the recording studio your friend discovered in the music building basement. Above all, just create.

 

MADE by Kim Jackson

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