Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Top tips on how to boost your creativity at university

Hi, I’m Aroona, I’m currently on a short work placement at the University of Hertfordshire in the Marketing and Communications department. Today, I wanted to share with you ways to boost your creativity which will make a real impact to your studies at university. 


I’m often told I’m a creative person. My family often attribute this to that I’m the only member of the family who chose a Humanities degree as opposed to my siblings who opted for degrees in Maths and Science. My friends often use my creative writing experience to showcase how artistic or inventive I am.

Creativity means a lot of things to a lot of people. It is often used as an attribute to describe certain people such as artists, writers, designers or inventors. For students, it seems more obvious that a person studying graphic design will have more opportunities to be creative than someone who is studying maths or midwifery.

Being creative when studying a degree can help you to focus on your work better, reduce stress, increase productivity and improve social interaction.

There is often a myth that creativity is an innate quality - a talent that you must be born with. Everyone has the potential to be creative and all it involves is two processes: Thinking and Producing.

There are limitless ways in which creativity can take place, so exercising a creative mindset will help put these creative skills in to practise, even when writing assignments.

Creativity is a skill. Practise it.

Research done by Clayton M. Christensen discovered that that the ability to be creative is not something that is only defined by the mind but also by your behaviour, also known as The Innovators DNA.

If you think openly about how you can show creativity in your work or daily life, then you are more likely to practise it, allowing your creativity to develop overtime.

I prefer to use this acronym COMET to remind me: C (praCtise), Opportunities Motivation, Encouragement, Training. 


Not to be confused with Uno Buses' new Comet buses. 

Keep dreaming

This might seem like I’m suggesting you should procrastinate or not pay attention during lectures but daydreaming is incredibly helpful for exercising our imagination and observation skills. It may seem simple but finding time to daydream is difficult for most busy people. We often have so much information thrown at us from computers, TV screens and mobiles that we miss what is happening around us. Just taking a break from your work will help you view it in a different perspective on your return during which time you may have come up with better solutions and improve it. 



Ask questions - lots of them!

This is a matter of reflection, not reflecting. The difference being is to not to regurgitate the textbook in front of you but to ask questions that will challenge you to think differently. This can be done by asking questions beginning with ‘what if?’. Instead of just rewriting your revision notes, organise them like you are doing an interview, or draw comparisons between two different subjects: how do they relate, how do they differ? Asking questions is not for just when you are unsure but when you want to know more! 



Connect heads

The best creative ideas tend to be brainstormed in groups. Bouncing off ideas with other people means broadening your mind to different ideas, perspectives and skills. Everyone has something to offer and by collaboratively using various skills you get to learn something new and come up with something more dynamic than if you were to do it on your own.



Try something new

Pursuing a new interest helps you relax, recharge and refresh your mind. This can be anything from learning a new language, painting or for the more adventurous types: skydiving! Doing something slightly out of the norm will encourage you to bring positivity to your work and which is crucial to increasing creative productivity.

Hertfordshire Students' Union has over 100 societies students can join so you are bound to be able to find a new interest! 

Maybe the HUSKI's (Ski and Snowboarding society) will take your interest! 



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