How to Juggle Art with University Life

As a lot of you may or may not know, ‘Teecaake’ has pretty much been on a hiatus for over the past 6 months since I’ve moved to university to begin my studies in materials science and engineering (if you have no idea what that subject is, don’t worry; neither do I and I’ve been studying it for over half a year!)

All in all, my experience so far as a university student has been incredible and I’m truly happy with what I’m studying even if it seems to be completely unrelated to my passion for art.  Sure, I’ve had hardly any time to do any art work since I moved to university and yes, I’ve found myself on numerous occasions scrolling through other artists’ posts on Instagram wishing I was them. I’ve gone through pictures of previous drawings I’ve done too many times and I’ve constantly felt nostalgic about days where I did nothing but draw. However, the fact that what I study is so polar to art may not be a bad thing entirely.

Image by @girly_m

When you’re at university and finding it difficult to barely cope with the pressures of lectures and all the extra studying you must do, it’s very easy to make excuses and feel sorry for yourself. During my first semester of university, homesickness really got to me. Believe it or not, going back home a lot isn’t great in the long run even though it might seem like a good idea at the time. I missed out on a lot of the socials aspects of university and it was just another thing alienating me from what was already a foreign experience so far. I got behind on finishing commissions and let them pile up one after the other. It got to the point where I’d rather have done anything and been anywhere else than the minimal things and places I was affiliating myself with. 

Students' Union

However, like all slightly sad stories, mine also takes a positive turn. Since the beginning of my second semester at university, I’ve taken a much more hands-on approach to making sure I had a better time. I’ve put myself out there a lot more and been happier. I’ve been more confident about the kind of artwork I make which has received a lot of positive remarks from new friends I made. They have been nothing but supportive about all of it which is always encouraging. Like any other field of artistry, if you’re not confident enough about your work, it’s very difficult to show it to an audience. I’m extremely comfortable with my small ‘fanbase’ per say I’ve managed to establish, but to extend that comfort to new people I know in real life was easier said than done. Nonetheless, I’ve been nothing but overwhelmed by all the support!

And funnily enough, a great mood induces great artwork. I’ve found a new niche for the type of artwork I’ve wanted to create. My artwork lately has spread a lot more positivity and inclusivity in them. I’ve particularly been fond of my feminist pieces, a lot of which have been inspired by women that I’ve learned to look up to. I’ve finally understood that there is no right or wrong way to juggle my artist life with my university life. While frantic organisational techniques may work for some, it might desperately fail for others (like me). Nonetheless, a sound attitude is the least you can have in ensuring you enjoy the balance or imbalance between the two aspects of your life. The main thing to remember is to not give it up no matter how frustrating it gets. 

Art always wins. You just have to not give up on it.

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