Work in Progress or Progress through Work.

I kept hearing the word ‘intense’ as I met with former alum and looked into the program. Trying to wrap my head around what to expect I asked, what does intense mean?? How does it look? How will it manifest? How can I prepare to manage intensity?

There are certain knowable factors that I could rearrange to prioritize this program – assuming a part time job, meal prepping breakfast and lunch, buying a car, getting one good fuss free haircut, cancelling every streaming service. I met with designers and alum to understand what their life was like and to try to grasp the meaning of intensity within the program. How do you balance work/life/school? Can you? I heard useful tips along the way – embrace the criticism and learn from it – but I also heard that you just don’t. Balance as I may want to conceive it will not be a reality and, in a way, it’s helpful to abandon this idea of perfection around balancing all things.

Ultimately, I realized I can’t over anticipate this.¬†At a certain point you have to stop hemming and hawing and asking around. Answers don’t come from investigation alone – we arrive at those through lived experience and by fumbling through process until we understand our own. This week has taught me how very little I know and how very much I will be stretched. Somehow, rather than feeling daunted by this, I feel energized.

Bootcamp has helped crystallize the goal I have for being in this program which is to leave AC4D as a design strategist, as a team player, and as a better human. I’m going to learn how to use creative, analytical and empathetic skills to design programs or processes or, dare I say, solutions that will drive us toward a more empathetic, more connected, and more human centered society. Creating meaningful social change through design is still an unknown to me. I can only discover the how and the mechanisms and the processes by which we create that by giving myself permission to try and permission to fail. But most importantly, by putting in the ‘ducking’ work.