How to stay creative in college

When the school year is in session, many of us find that we don't have much time to spend on our hobbies. When we return to the routine of hundreds of pages of required reading, jobs, and, hopefully, social lives, the time we'd normally allocate to personal reading, writing, or art seems to evaporate. Although we may not always have the time to fully immerse ourselves in our personal creative projects, there are still ways to actively exercise creative initiative in college, even if just for the sake of self care.

1. Make a portfolio of inspiration.

Whether you connect creatively with words, images, or sounds, there's often some way to collect inspiration over time. Whether your goal is to plan towards a greater project or simply to motivate yourself to succeed, doing this is always fun. One thing I find inspiring is to write down quotes, song lyrics, or literary passages I like in a blank notebook. I like to write using colorful markers and make little doodles around the words in a way that makes me happy. What this type of thing looks will vary- it could be a pin board (physical or digital), an ongoing list, or, really, anything you want it to be.

2. Take artsy elective classes.

Most universities offer a variety of elective classes in the arts. If you happen to have extra room in your academic schedule, it may be worthwhile to take a class in dance, art, drama, film, or music. These classes are fun, challenging, and will give you a deeper understanding and appreciation of both the arts in general and of your own creative process.

3. Take steps toward a larger project you’ll complete when you have more time.

Love to make collages but don't have time to work on them during the school year? Collect and organize pictures and scraps over time to use when you finally have some down time. Want to write a novel or play? Keep an ongoing document of ideas for scenes, characters, titles, or passages. Add to it whenever inspiration hits. Doing something like this will keep you thinking about what projects you'd like to do in the future and give you something fun to look forward to.

4. Make your creative endeavors part of your extracurricular resume.

If the word "hobby" irks you and you would prefer to have something to show for your creative endeavors, or if you simply want to meet a larger demographic of other creative people, start a student organization based around your interests! This will give you a chance to lead and collaborate with others while focusing on your own goals-- creative and professional.

5. Have your friends hold you accountable.

If you'd like to set aside a substantial block of time for your writing, artwork, or performance art, finding friends who will hold you accountable (and vice versa) is a great way to ensure you're staying productive. This could entail setting aside time to get together and work on projects, giving and receiving feedback on one another's work, or checking in on one another's progress.

Whether you're working on a long term creative project or just want to have some fun, hopefully, these tips will help you stay creative, inspired, and motivated amidst the craziness of a college schedule. Best of luck!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.


From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments