D&AD, You’ve been dumped.
We’re back baby! I have risen from the dead.
This month has been a rollercoaster to say the least.
For the first time in a while, I’m feeling somewhat of myself again.
So why not come back with a little thought dump?
D&AD is over, and somehow that realization has only really just sunk in.
We submitted over two weeks ago, yet somehow the last two weeks have felt like an absolute blur.
My brain has felt fried, my thoughts have been mush.
Marc taught us the importance of resetting like a pro, but mentally I’ve felt checked out this entire time.
I have been going through the motions, but every small task has felt like a climb.
From the first day you come to SCA, D&AD is positioned as one of the most important things you do at the school.
You’re told that everything you do, and learn up to that point, is there to prepare for New Blood.
It’s intimidating as f*ck.
Then two weeks before the deadline, you’re told it doesn’t really matter.
Whether you’re someone who chooses to believe that it’s the most important thing at SCA, or someone who doesn’t really care, D&AD is a process that teaches you a lot about who you are as a creative.
I don’t think that there was a single person in our cohort that found D&AD easy.
I don’t think that there was a straight process from point a to b for anyone.
New Blood is f*cking uncomfortable.
No matter how much you plan, and how much you prepare, the outcome of everything is unpredictable.
Two months ago, if you had told me that we would be one of those teams that had to redo their entire project two days before the deadline, I would have said “no way”, “we won’t let that happen.”.
Well guess what? Shit happens.
There is no certainty. You can’t plan everything, that’s unfortunately not how the world works.
And thank god for that, because how boring would the world be if it was based on complete certainty.
You just have to ride the wave, do the best you possibly can, trust your gut and hope for a good outcome.
One of my biggest takeaways from this last term is that we’re all so much stronger than we think we are. We’re capable of so much more. We just have to want it bad enough.
Yes, this sounds cheesy and yes you’ve probably heard it before, but it’s true.
From one all nighter to only 2 hours of sleep the next night, I was running on nothing but adrenaline, coffee and energy drinks. We had worked so hard leading up to this point that we weren’t going to let things crumble the day before the deadline. So I pushed myself.
And by no means would I recommend this, or would I say this is healthy. But it proves that we’re so much more capable than we think we are.
Trust the process. Trust yourself.
Learn from your peers. Learn from your mentors.
Don’t forget to breathe and be kind to yourself.
New Blood isn’t easy. Not for anyone. It’s not supposed to be.
And although doing laundry and showering felt like the hardest thing for about a week after, once I had had time to reset mentally and physically, everything after New Blood has felt a little less daunting.
Whether you win a pencil or not, I think that D&AD is one of the most rewarding processes to go through whilst you’re at the school. It can make or break a partnership. It can push you to some dark places, but in the end, it’s a great milestone.
Once you go through it once, you realize, you can probably do it again. And again. And again.
And each and every time you do, it’ll get a little easier, and you’ll do better.
It sets yourself up to have great and high standards for yourself. It pushes you to be better.
And even after everything, I somehow caught myself asking “Was D&AD really all that bad?”
I don’t know. Everything still feels like a bit of a blur. But It definitely taught me a lot about myself.
So I’ll leave you with that.
Until next time,