D&AD Competition | ReflectionPosted: December 10, 2016
This project started off really well. I had planned to do the Quorn project because I thought it might give me an excuse to further explore my own ethical views and also to encourage others to consider being more aware of the effect their own diet has. This idea was eventually outweighed by the D&AD brief, due to the fact that D&AD is a much more recognised award organisation in the world of design and making a campaign for the BBC would be more impressive in my opinion, and also a good way of extending my skills and practising work in different areas.
The end of the term has rolled over into the ever manic Christmas holidays and right now I feel quite resolved, despite the mess that has been this week. I have written up a quick blog post on my work specifically for the D&AD competition; it needs work but it is live at least. I feel an explanation is in order, for my absence, for dragging my feet, for flying when I should have fought, probably more appropriately communicated via email or formal meeting but for now this blog is my only platform to reflect on the reasons behind my failure this week, at least until Monday. For the last few days I have been having some kind of overly dramatic meltdown and I don’t really know the full extent of why, but I am trying to overcome it as best I can. These were the most important days, considering the amount of work that had to be discussed, edited, submitted, presented… and to word it in the most appropriate way possible, I screwed it all up.
I try not to let my personal life affect my university work, even more so this year than the last two but recently it has all been a bit too overwhelming. This was supposed to be the year I knuckled down after skimming through the last two, which were regrettably spent putting work responsibilities and personal relationships and social obligation first. This year was meant to be different.
This Thursday was the day of my presentation and final hurdle of the year before being able to put my feet up and just focus on commissions and catching up with Netflix series’. I wasn’t going to be able to go into university that day; there was a day at Women’s Aid planned and paid for and I trusted someone else’s word instead of checking the times for myself, so in the end I apologised and planned not to attend. As it turned out my time in Port Talbot was cut short and after some time-sensitive, frantic text messaging and desperately fast cycling I arrived in time to watch a couple of presentations and then for me and my group to present our idea. I was sat calm and composed, my mind was replaying “I just have to get through the next half an hour and then 5 minutes up there talking through our design and then I can go. And then my plans for the rest of the day started rolling into my mind, ‘if one more person presents before us then I’ll be late’, ‘what if we’re asked to stay’, ‘what if I have to explain myself or our presentation takes too long?’ I’ll be late. Then ‘what excuses would be vaguely acceptable at this point if I choose to leave?’, ‘how obvious would it be if I got up and left?’, ‘Would anyone stop me?’ And then the fight or flight moment arrives and I just got up and flew.
I haven’t suffered from anxiety this bad in such a long time, and more than being embarrassed about leaving and guilty for abandoning my group, I am saddened by the fact I’ve let this happen again. I am aware that it is mainly because of the people I hang around with, “You are what you do” right? In future I aim to spend my time around more confident, positive people, as horrible as that sounds I need to act on this awareness or this will keep happening. Feelings, traits and emotions are often perpetuated through friendship groups and if anxiety and negative thoughts are altering my performance at uni I have to make a change. All I can do now is try and be better, hopefully explain my reasoning in a way that doesn’t come across too much as self-pity, and move on to the next phase of the year as gracefully and motivated as I possibly can. I am feeling a lot more positive and capable now, after spending two days working hard on commission work and tying up the loose ends of this university term. I’m feeling more composed and ready to tackle all the hurdles the next month will throw at me.