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In these times of stress, school and work, I often experience pent-up frustration as deadlines and responsibilities become overwhelming. In response, I hone my creative energy and lose myself within my passions. Much of this energy comes from the diverse ideas and thoughts that I experience within the classroom; which in turn can allow me to formulate new perspectives. However, due to the nature of online learning, the ability to engage in conversations with my professors and peers is limited. As a result, I am finding it increasingly harder to express myself within my usual creative outlets. Although quarantine and outside stressors can get to the best of us, it is so important to continue to exercise creative habits and allow yourself to pursue your inner creativity. 

Keeping in touch with creative behavior is critical as one grows older. A 1968 test performed by George Land found that creativity is in fact unlearned. Land tested 1,600 five-year-olds and found that 98% of them were ranked in the “highly creative” category while only 2% of 25+-year-olds were categorized as “highly creative.” This shows that as we grow older and become more accustomed to our daily habits and preferences, we often fail to engage in new experiences and pursue different interests. Exploring new outlets that spark interests is an important tool in order to maintain these passions and re-energize creative fires.

Related Article: Nurture Your Creativity

When most people think of creative activities, the obvious comes to mind: writing, reading, singing, dancing, drawing/painting, playing an instrument, etc. However, with hectic schedules, I feel that these outlets are often pushed to the back of the priority list. As a result, innovative strategies are needed for creativity to be incorporated into one’s daily routine; and, personally, I have found myself searching for methods that allow me to maintain productiveness while also exhibiting artistic expression.

Ever since I was little, writing has been one of my most pursued passions. I would always write chapter books, typically mystery novels, that were inspired by my favorite series, Nancy Drew. Currently, Her Campus has allowed me to maintain my passion for writing. Being able to choose what I want to write about allows me the freedom to learn more about the topics that interest me as well as allow me to express my feelings and opinions through an engaging expression. In addition, I also care for a small array of greenhouse plants. Taking the time to nurture and care for plants, as well as see the progress of their growth, provides a spiritual calmness and brightness up my workspace. However, the most therapeutic creative outlets for me are dancing and doing my makeup. By dancing, I can stay active and release my energy while also connecting to music. Makeup also allows me to start the day off in a calm and reflective state while exploring different color palettes. Although two very identifiable outlets of creativity, they both help me start the day off on the right foot.

Related Article: How to Get in Touch with Your Creative Side

Through a different perspective, in my school work, I have found that organizing my notes with colors and graphics can make the process less tedious and more enjoyable. When I go back and study as well, I find that I am better able to retain the information and less intimidated to study. In high school, I was involved with my school’s yearbook and that is where I developed a niche for graphic design. Designing study guide graphics or organizing my notes in a PowerPoint format can also allow me to develop better study habits.

It is extremely important to be mindful of the ways in which one expresses their inner creativity. Ignoring its importance can result in a loss of both curiosity and creativity. Exploring new strategies, whether simple or innovative, can be a way to find yourself and find a new passion.

Kathleen Dwyer

George Mason University '23

Kathleen is a junior in the Honors College at George Mason University where she is majoring in Integrative Studies with a concentration in Leadership and Organizational Development. Kathleen is originally from Haymarket, Virginia and is passionate about all things Disney. Outside of school, she is a Leadership Consultant at the LEAD Office on campus and enjoys to spend time with family and friends!
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