How to improve your creative talents while studying in college?
Creativity is not about writing, painting, or your performances only. Creative thinking helps to come up with new ideas in different fields, from urban planning to law. It is a talent to see things with an unusual perspective and find extraordinary solutions to problems.
College life is the time of changes when your mind is flexible and predisposed to absorbing new information. And you don’t have to be Wimbledon school of art student to improve your creative talents. It is enough to know a few simple tricks.
How to boost creativity
- Associative thinking. The connections between events, objects, and facts that seem unrelated are always anchored in our memory. We just need to trigger the process that activates them. Playing board games or just building chains of associations work well. In a couple of weeks, you will come up with new ideas faster.
- Take a sheet of paper and a pencil. Write down a question or a statement. Set a timer for five to ten minutes and start writing whatever comes to your mind. Don’t pay attention to vocabulary, spelling, or coherence. This time, you won’t need a good grammar app or a free plagiarism checker UK. This is a dialogue with your subconsciousness, something in between brainstorming and meditation, and it is an extremely effective way to discover original ideas.
- Alternative solutions. Look at the students in college outfits and think how they would look in the 80s or 20s. Pick any object in a room and come up with a different purpose for it, like using books to construct an improvised Christmas tree. This is how you learn to take a new look at ordinary things.
Tried and true strategies
Stephen King mentioned that every book he wrote started with the question “what if?” This is not about second-guessing – don’t go down the memory lane thinking about what you could have done differently. Create an alternative reality. If you don’t know how to start, just google a What If Dinosaur meme or Conspiracy Keanu meme. You’ll end up with some unexpected storylines and a good mood for all day.
Austin Kleon in the book Steal Like an Artist reminds that we are the generation of references. He suggests to find inspiration in things around us and reconsider everything. Find a book you have never read and make up your own story with the same headline. Turn on the radio, switch between stations every ten seconds, and write down everything you hear. Just become a little crazy for 30 minutes.
Johnny Marr, one of the best guitar players in the world, doesn’t have any professional music education, just like the majority of outstanding musicians. Actually, it is a huge advantage. If you don’t know how to play right, you aren’t afraid of making a mistake. This is how you can come up with a new sounding. Leave some room for mistakes, not in music only. Coke, penicillin, and X-rays appeared when something went wrong.
Simple daily exercises
- Stay active physically and intellectually. Exercises, listening to music, bright posters on the walls, and brain-twisters stimulate your brain and tune the creativity mode.
- Work in a coffee shop. A background noise increases the difficulty of information processing and stimulates abstract thinking.
- Change some little things. If you are a right-hander, try to do things with your left hand all day. Move the furniture to make a room look slightly different. Eat something new for lunch every day.
- Find a new way to walk home. You will notice new things around, hear different sounds, discover something interesting or useful – a lot for your brain to process.
- Be open to challenges. Human brain requires workout as much as muscles do. Learn a new language, try to play the guitar, speak to strangers – just do something new.
- This is the most obvious but extremely effective way to enhance your creative potential.
- Note down everything, like random ideas or images that pop up in your mind. They might form an interesting picture in the future and become a foundation for a breakthrough.
- Discover new things about other cultures and people. Sometimes leaving for another city for a weekend is enough.
So how to make creativity work? Devote some time for observations, visualization, and dreaming. It may be the time on your way to college in the morning or a lunch hour every Wednesday. Stay focused on the main task during the work. Always present ideas in a short and clear form. And don’t be afraid to discuss things – bounce ideas in the team, even if they seem far from perfect. It may be a good start for something great.
The editorial unit