business January 30, 2020

My experience as a design student (and why I dropout)

Last year, I wrote a post sharing how I became a professional designer, and why I was going to be a design student. Now, I’m going to share with you how it went, and why as it turned out, it wasn’t the right decision for me.

Positive outcomes of becoming a design student

Going back to school was, in the beginning, as I remembered: both terrifying and exciting.
During the first week, I realized that the majority of my colleagues were only twenty-one or twenty-two recent graduates and most of them had very little work experience. For that reason, I identified and started hanging out more with the rest of the class (the older and more experienced bunch).

I was excited to learn more and become a more prepared professional, and in retrospect, I feel that up to a certain level, that was accomplished.
I learned a lot about materials, editorial design, and design history. But more than that, I learned a lot about people and friendship.

Being forced to spend more than twenty hours/week with different people (professors and colleagues), led me to the realization that even though we might share similar views on design, we have different opinions and methods to achieve results. And that’s ok. 
If more than anything else, this semester (actually more like a trimester), taught me that I shouldn’t overlook my work just because I don’t have a previous degree in design, I should stop comparing myself to others on that account and continue to work harder and harder.
Experimenting, admitting my ignorance, and asking for help was what got me to learn as much as I did. 

Before this experience, I was by myself too much, and forgot that there’s still a lot of people with whom there’s a lot to learn. That’s my biggest takeaway. I have to thank all the friends and all the mentors for sharing and inspiring me.

So why did I quit being a design student?

There is more than one reason, but ultimately, these are the main ones:

  1. Money and time investment;
  2. Not managing to work and study at the same time;
  3. Compromising other things such as rest, projects (like this blog), and family.

I’m not claiming that this master is a bad choice or that I regret choosing to enroll.
To me, it’s more oriented to those that have a bachelor in design and want to continue their studies.
Others might have a different opinion.

On the difference between a self-made designer and someone with a diploma, I still feel that the main difference is in how much effort each one puts into learning and practicing.


Going back to school ended up teaching me a lot about myself, and my worth. In the end, I realized the academic universe isn’t the right place for me anymore. Plus, with discipline and effort, I can strive without a diploma.
As a little piece of advice, if you can try it without compromising too much, you should see for yourself.

About Melted

Melted was born in 2017. 
Back then, I was facing some hard time regarding my profession (or lack of), but I wanted to push forward and inspire others to do the same.
So I put my fears aside, and several huge cups of coffee later, this project was online.

Read the full story

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