Summarizing my Design Story #3

The college days have finally ended and like every year, it’s time to reflect on my past year learnings and failures. I ended the last year article (Chapter 2) on the note to cherish my final year of college and spent time on the things that really interest me which is sharing my knowledge with the community. Let’s see how it all went so far. I hope you’ll enjoy reading the article.

2018 was the final year of my college and it couldn’t have been better. I spent most of the time with my friends cherishing the last days of the college, traveled a lot, attended my first design conference (It was rad), understood more about the community and most importantly — secured a job.

Here’s a quick recap of everything significant that I did in the final year of the college-

#1. Increasing the quality of blog posts

Although I promised to be more regular in the sharing of such posts, I couldn’t increase the number of my posts. The primary reason being I wanted to increase the quality of my posts. I didn’t want to push articles for the sake of posting. I wanted to write detailed quality posts that could touch different areas of my experiences instead of posting just case studies. Now I am happy to see that the quality of posts has increased. I can say this because of the increased readership and appreciation emails that I have been getting.

From writing articles on designing your resume, publishing a website on GitHub, designing for variants, design conferences and becoming a freelancer, I tried to touch everything that I wished I had known before starting out, in a very detailed format. I hope you had also enjoyed reading such blogs and I promise to deliver more in the coming year.

#2. Bursting my comfort bubble

By the end of my third year, I figured out that I had to do something for the design community. I wanted to give back to the community that has helped me to become what I’m today. One way to do that was by sharing my knowledge in the form of blog posts. I didn’t have many ideas about other things that I can do. Due to which I had confined myself to a very comfortable bubble. I thought that I had learned almost everything that everyone in the college was doing and pushing articles regularly would keep me at the top layer of the bubble. There were only quite a few people who were posting articles in my college at that time.

Poor, me. I was so wrong.

Little I had known about the community at that point of time than I know now. The major amount of the year was spent understanding the value of this community and connecting with more people outside my college mostly through Twitter. Oh God, Design community at Twitter is amazing. The people are so accessible and helpful that some of them may go out of their ways to help you.

Here’s a thread by Madhuri Maram of all amazing Indian designers on Twitter. Follow them all. You don’t have to be limited by these set of people. Keep exploring and using Twitter, you’ll find other people too.

Previously, I was so stuck in the rut to compete with each other and become better than others in my college. I didn’t realize that the real competition lies outside the college. I was amazed to see the vast possibilities of things that people were doing. There are students who are launching products on Product Hunt, designed and developed solely by themselves. There are people who’re doing amazing at Hackathons, launching their podcasts and yadda-yadda. Everyone is writing. There is nothing unique about me. There was a need to burst my bubble, come out and get inspired by these people and find new ways to grow.

Recently I did a thread on Twitter to highlight these amazing students. You can follow them too.

There is so much that I can say on the value of networking and I could go on and on but that is not the point of this article. You understood my point, right. I have realized how much I have to learn and it’s endless. People outside our community are amazing. Let’s join them all to give healthy competition.

#3. Attended my first design conference

Photo courtesy: DesignUp

The highlight of the year was definitely attending my first design conference. It was organized by DesignUp in Bengaluru, India. I never had a chance to visit conferences before because they were too expensive. This time I was lucky to get the scholarship from DesignUp itself with a small task of covering the conference with one or two articles. I had written about it in one of my articles. It gave me the chance to interact with people who I only know by their social profiles. From staying in a lavish hotel to watching the grandeur of the conference, the experience was amazing and I now look forward to attending more conferences in the future.

#4. Achieving a balanced life

Since I was in my final year of college, I had so much time at my disposal and I never really enjoyed my college life to the fullest because I was so busy with the design work and academics. I thought If I don’t enjoy this last year too, I probably would regret it all my life. Thank god, I didn’t. My last year was the best year of college life.

Some beautiful moments from the final year of college

I spend some quality time with my friends and had so many trips. I will be going to miss those late-night campus walks with my friends, gossips in front of the main building, CCD or subway banters (not boasting, there were subsidized for us 😛 ) and even late night gossips in my room.

Oh, my eyes are wet now. 😢

The fourth year was not only best in the way that I was spending so much time with my friends but also it was the year where I got to do something different from design. I started learning harmonica (thanks to my friends for the gift) and learned some card tricks too. Whenever I used to feel sad, I start playing harmonica randomly. It was the best thing that helped relieve me of all the stress. I also started watching so many TV series on Netflix. “Black Mirror” is my current favorite and I’m deeply disappointed by “GOT”. “Friends, Netflix and Chill” became my life mantra, literally.

#5. Securing a job

As obvious as it is, the final year means securing a job. For me too, the story wasn’t very different. There are people who are doing their own startup and going for higher studies but I had finalized that I will be taking up a job. My focus is to learn more for now. I had my portfolio in check so I started applying for jobs. After some hustle, I finally secured a job at GOJEK. I will be covering a separate article on how I secured a job. There is a lot to say about it.

#6. Bidding adieu to my college days

Department Farewell Photoshoot

Good things have to end and so my college days. I cannot believe that I could get so connected to my college. IIT-R was the best thing that had to happen in my life. It was the people who made that place very special for me. Now when I look back I cannot imagine how one place can turn someone into a curious and self-dependent person that I am today. I am very anxious about how my job life would turn out.

In college, I got so much freedom. I could make so many mistakes and be vulnerable but at job life, my one mistake can cost a lot to the company. There is a lot of responsibility on me. But I am assured that good people at GoJek will make the job life easier for me. I recently did a thread on Twitter asking for what people would recommend me to do in my first 30–60–90 days of the job life. Surprisingly, Abhinit (Design Head at GOJEK) jumped in and wrote some beautiful tips. You can also give it a read here.

Ending Notes

2018 was an amazing year for me in terms of clarity it gave me in understanding the community and the value of networking. I made so many memories with my friends. I know that I have to still learn a lot from these folks. I am, now, again at the stage where I feel that I didn’t know anything. Next year would be the beginning of a new chapter in my life. No new promises for the next year but to do amazing work at my job and rest, start to take care of my health too.

As I end this article, I would like to thank all the people who were part of this amazing year. I am now prepared to enter a new chapter. I will share about it in the next part of this series, next year.

Until then
Happy Designing!

Thanks for reading this so far. Keep following me on Twitter and Medium for more such updates. If you have any concerns about any thing design related or other, ping me on any above platforms. I would be happy to help.

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Nikhil Yadav ✌😎.ml

Nikhil Yadav ✌😎.ml

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Product Designer at Gojek | Trying to read between the lines | Wish to document ’em all