Looking back before the pandemic, November 2020 looked so different from what I have imagined it would be. Planning my DPS in January 2020, I most likely hoped I’ll get an internship somewhere in Europe by now. And throughout this exciting year, I’ll be travelling around the world, making most of that time. But in March 2020 everything changed.
When September came, my situation looked pretty much like that:
And I had my fingers burned so badly, as I was pretty sure I have time and I’ll easily find an internship. If not abroad, at least in my home country – Poland. I was pretty lost and depressed, not having any plans or something to look forward to. But it is what it is, and I’m sure I’m not the only one being in that situation.
I had to lower my expectations and use the resources I had. I moved out from my parents, applied to the places I’ve never even considered before, and used my network to ask about every possible opportunity. Hate this expression, but I actually “stepped out of my comfort zone”. When I think about it now, it was a valuable lesson and something I’ll remember about this crazy year. Never take anything for granted. And if the world changes – don’t fight with it, try to adapt.
Among all of this mess that is happening right now, there is something pretty exciting about what comes along with it. I think we started to notice the beginning of a new era, and maybe we saw it only thanks to that tragic pandemic happening at this moment? Maybe we needed a strong trigger to open our eyes and see what’s important? Too bad it required such drastic measures. But there is hope, a new agency among all of this. This NEW AGENCY we see coming is so dynamic, spontaneous, and up for anything.
It’s very exciting to be in that “first wave” of the generation that has to cope with the new reality. On the other hand, it brings much anxiety and challenges. I was thinking about it very intensively since I flew to Poland in March. I was to spend much time with my family again – different generation, with a different mentality, challenges, and expectations. When they were my age, of course, there were fewer opportunities. They didn’t have much freedom as I have now. Studying abroad which brought me so great opportunities and experience – they could only dream about. Not to mention life-changing technology. However, I couldn’t help but think that their future was more certain. For my mum, it was obvious that she finishes school, gets a degree, gets a job, starts a family, etc. I don’t feel my generation has such certainty, at least not anymore.
I have recently started to realize things I never thought would be my generation’s concern. Most importantly, climate change. Something my mum or dad never even thought about while building their future. And something that now threatens mine. I realized it even more after seeing David Attenborough’s new film Life On Our Planet. It’s devasted me how badly we treat our planet. And we saw it even clearer during the pandemic, when the whole world stopped for the moment, nature spoke. And how can someone conscious about that still focus on their career and future?
I know it’s very depressing to think that way. But it can be motivating too. Let’s look at the recent and still ongoing pandemic. It showed how quickly we adapt and change our expectation, way of working, even jobs. It’s amazing how we adapted throughout those couple of months. Remote working, ordering groceries online, Netflix parties. People can be so creative nowadays, and it’s even more encouraging when they use this creativity for a good cause. In my opinion, it should be a great motivation and hope for humanity. “when there is a need, there is a way”
The world is changing, and we can’t deny it. We can only embrace this change and make it for the better. I think this is what comes from this global reset. People finally start to realize the hierarchy, they see the impact of their actions and start to fight for their future. As recently in Poland, when people finally found the courage and take to the streets fighting for their liberty and right to decide for their own. It might sound cliché, but from what I observe, I believe it’s revolution time. The new generation finally spoke up and will begin to shape a new future.
As for me, the last couple of months taught me to embrace uncertainty. I'm that kind of person who likes to know what’s next, I like to plan my future - otherwise, I get easily stressed out. However, the current situation made me more open for the opportunities and taught me to use what’s available. Of course, you have to aim high. But you also have to be humble and wait for the opportunity to come. And if it comes, make the best of it.
Keeping that in mind, I started a small collaboration with a Polish graphic designer based in Cracow. It doesn’t take much time and I don’t always feel like I learn a lot, but I stay patient. At the same time, I’m doing live projects briefed by the DPS team. I’m planning to design a product for Not Just a Shop before the end of that year. And finally, I have something to look forward to, as I have recently got an internship at Amsterdam-based graphic design studio starting in January 2021!
Graphic and Media Design