1) Go in for office hours whenever you can.
My friends were convinced that I was spending more time in Professor Strong’s office this semester than with them. Take advantage of the hours she offers and take the time to sign up early to see her. I found it helpful to go see her once in the beginning or middle of the project and once right before the final submission was due. Her feedback is incredibly valuable and she really cares about each and every one of her students!
2) If possible, get yourself the Adobe programs.
Whether it’s strategically utilizing the free trials for Adobe Creative Cloud or purchasing the full versions of the programs, make sure to find a way to have Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop at your fingertips. The Newhouse labs are definitely a resource, but it’s also wonderfully comfortable to be able to work on your projects away from Newhouse – be it in your dorm room, the library, or a nearby coffee shop.
3) Save often. Save everywhere.
Luckily, I wasn’t too far on my project, but I did have an instance earlier in the semester where my computer froze up and I ended up losing my progress. Now, God forbid that happens to you, but skip the frantic file recovery tutorials and troubleshooting by learning how to save all the time. Make it a goal to save your work on the hour? Also, don’t forget to save every version, even if it has the tiniest change. Store them on your computer, your flash drive, your external hard drive, and maybe even the cloud?
4) Read the directions. Multiple times.
Make sure you’re going into each project knowing exactly what Professor Strong expects and the requirements that you need to meet. Save yourself from a panic by reading the directions regularly throughout the project. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you didn’t know a file was necessary in the final submission folder the night before it’s due.
5) Be prepared for a challenge and put in the hard work.
This class was hands down the hardest class I’ve taken at Newhouse. It requires so much more foresight and so many extra hours compared to your other classes. The workload is intense and you and all of your other classmates will be investing hours into each project. Be prepared for some harsh criticism, and be more than ready to pick yourself back up after you fall. Don’t give up and make sure to give yourself a pat on the back every now and then. This class is challenging, but by the end of it, your work will show immense progress and you’ll be a much more sophisticated student and thinker – I promise.