School & teachers

Are Some Degrees Really Useless?

A few days ago in my country we could read a news saying that a woman with a college degree from 3 different universities could not find a job.
That particular piece of news spread in an instant through many online portals and throughout social media.

Suddenly everyone wanted to share their opinion of that particular problem.
Soon 2 sides of opposite streams were created: one saying that obviously the aforementioned woman has 3 useless degrees (geography, art history, comparative literature and shortly one in theology) and the others saying that it is impossible for anyone to find a job in Croatia and that she just wanted to secure a state job.

Some commenters said that the lady should be sending more cover letters and resumes- she already sent 30 of them.
From their point of view, she was not proactive enough in finding herself a job.
What those commenters actually don´t know is that most jobs are found through networking, presence in online media or by being active during your studies through meaningful projects. Sending cover letters is pretty outdated option nowadays.

Then, some were trying to be more helpful with advice that if she really had 3 (soon 4 diplomas) that she should start her own business and not rely on the State for her employment.
In a country where hundreds of thousands people work for the State and where taxes for having your own business are sky high- who are we to blame the unlucky lady?

Many people are blaming the government for their inability to find a job or making it possible to implement more easily their own business plan or project.
In Croatia, we witness everyday emigration of young and educated people who don’t see any perspective in staying here- they can´t find a job to cover their existential needs.

The pay checks are low and those who work are lucky to have a job.
Who should we really blame- individuals like this lady, our educational system our government- we are yet to find.

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School & teachers

Hi School, Bye School

Middle school and high school- places of fond memories or forgotten sorrows?

Everyone remembers endless days spent in classrooms, never ending memorization of what we considered to be nonsensical facts and answering to teachers.

Oh yes, days I wish I would never have to go back to! Fortunately, I am near the end of my formal education- and I think that now I can share some insights with you about those years that everyone has to pass through.

Years when we hung out with our friends worried if were good enough for them, years when we were under extreme pressure to succeed and have good grades, years when we thought that teachers knew everything…

I remember being in middle school when my worries about grades were filling my mind and in order to escape them I would daydream about Summer holidays. In fact, when school was nearly over (when 50 working days until the end were near), I used to make a small calendar in which I crossed every day that passed. In that way I could measure how much I have already „survived“.

I had so many activities apart from the school- ranging from learning languages to playing tennis and piano. Actually, sometimes only free time I had while I was in the middle school were those 5 minutes just before falling asleep.

Near the end of middle school I started to think over about my high school admissions and how would days in that new institution look like. I was sad to leave my old friends, but was really curious to find out what my new friendships would be.

In that search of my ideal clique I changed a couple of high schools. On the on hand I wanted to attend same classes as my old friends, but on the other hand I wanted to meet entirely new colleges.

Finally combination of bad influence and failing grades made me change high school 2 years before its end. Although it was really stressful to have changed classes in the middle of school, it was a positive change 🙂

Learning from my experience- my advice to everyone in middle school or high school is: choose your friends wisely, take care of yourself (don’t drink, smoke or go out too much), study, have fun and try not to stress too much over small stuff.

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Reading & writing

The Reader´s Dilemma: Paper Book Or E-Book?

If you are a passionate reader, apart from reading newspapers or blogs, you probably read paper books and its digital form: e-books. Here I would like to write about some advantages and disadvantages of reading former and the latter types.

Also there are many audio books on the market, but I won´t be writing about them.

Paper books give you that feeling of enjoying the moment while being immersed in reading when holding a book physically in your hand. Some people connect reading paper version of books with that cozy feeling while drinking cup of hot cocoa or coffee.

Although you can virtually turn pages on your laptop or Kindle device, it can´t really measure up with turning pages with your hand. Furthermore, the light of your computer screen may not feel as comfortable for your eyes as reading book under daylight in your armchair or in bed.

With paper books you can make your own library in tangible form, and not just have them downloaded on your screen as pdf-s.

Sometimes I like to buy e-books because I like the fact that I can have books right here, in this moment, without having to leave the house, but more often I like reading “real books”.

The other day I was talking with my boss, who is in his late forties, how he can not understand young people now days who want to have everything in an instant like purchasing e-books. He asked me then: don´t we like the anticipation of ordering books from store and then waiting for them to arrive to our homes versus having our desires immediately met?

I couldn´t give him any good answer for the reason that I read and buy both versions of books.

The one´s I prefer depend on the moment- when I find out about some great book- I usually cannot wait for the shipping to arrive, but to be honest- paperbacks have its own charm…

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Social media

Make A Memory Out Of Your life

How do you archive your life?

Every day is similar, yet every day is different from the day before.

Throughout your lifetime you participate in many events, you gain many experiences and you share many memorable moments with your loved ones.

In order to recall more easily all those memories you can archive what happened to you during many hours, days, months and years that passed.

When I was attending elementary school, I used to write a diary every day.

I was mostly writing about my classmates, homework, trips and grades.

It feels funny when I read now what I used to think long time ago- lots of matter seems trivial, but I know how important that used to be to me back in the days.

With a little pause in archiving experiences in high-school (apart from facebook- if it counts), let´s go fast forward to college. Those are the days when I started to write almost every quibble that came to my mind- I wrote them in notes on my Iphone.

At the same time, during college, I started to attend photography course. At first I took photos with my mobile phone, but when my lecturer made a disappointing statement how real photographers don´t use cell phone for art, I switched to my Canon camera. I started to shoot every situation, detail or place that seemed compelling.

Soon, new memories were created which I documented on my laptop.

My creative endeavours haven’t stopped with that- I started to write a blog and I became active on twitter- which are another ways of archiving your thoughts.

I think that you should always try to capture anything that you can think of- one day you might cherish that gathered memories even more.

Start writing a journal, take photos, make videos, archive your life- because for one day: memories shall stay…

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Movies, TV & Theater, Uncategorized

This Is Not Just Another Ad

What makes a good commercial is a question that popped to my mind today.

While preparing creative samples for admissions to an ad school, I was gaining inspiration from watching Super Bowl commercials.

I was amazed how many good ideas were showing on TV in that football period of time. Every time I watched a commercial that broadcasted on Super Bowl, I felt some strong emotion – whether happiness, sadness, anticipation or fear.

However, I mostly liked those which inspired me in some way – to start doing something new or to change thoughts about some matter. Commercials seen at Super Bowl are expensive, millions and millions of people see them and they have a big impact. I always wanted to make that type of commercials 🙂

But they are only a small portion of advertising- the best part of it. Every copywriter or art director would feel extremely proud if his creativity could be shown during that popular event.

At ad school, we had one class for which we had to search for terrible ads and explain why we think they are terrible. Then, I realised that most commercials were (using euphemism)- not quite good.

On one hand, I know what makes a bad commercials- they are boring! Not innovative, they don´t show the benefit of a product or a service. They don´t provoke emotions.

On the other hand, good commercials inspire you and make you to actually purchase that fragrance, bag, shoes or car.

Still, many public notices to sale heavily rely on stereotypes like men and bear or pretty woman and cars. Advertisers often stay in their comfort zones be it because the company which ordered a commercial wants to stick to the safe ground or because of the lack of inspiration of creative team.

Good commercials should be informative, witty, fun, they should provoke anticipation and in the end- they should make you take an action.

To put it in another words- they should make you ready, set, buy 🙂

Or you can just watch them. That works too. If it´s Super Bowl.

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School & teachers, Uncategorized

We Learn For School And Not For Life

Non per scholae sed vitae discimus or in other words we don’t study for school, but for life.

How true is really this statement? I finished high school 9 years ago, have been since then in the institutions of higher education and I must admit that school doesn’t prepare you well for the realities of  everyday life. What we mostly do in school these days is memorizing endless material.

We don’t get encouraged to use our creativity and if we differ in any way from the norm, we often get criticized. I was a gifted student and because no one in high school recognized my talents, I struggled a lot with school. I was way ahead of my colleagues in the terms of knowledge, but I was somehow always getting bad grades- I just could not learn all that given data by heart and present it to teachers. We also don’t learn how to follow directions, but instead we learn how to pretend that we agree with our teachers.

Skills as how to find a job in this economy or how to start a job, what career do we want to pursue or how to manage taxes are not being taught at most institutions. I didn’t even know what a cover letter was when I was looking for a job during high school, let alone how to write it.

Apart from that, I suffered from low self esteem years after high school because I was always given bad grades. I felt enormous anxiety when I would have to speak or answer teachers’ questions in front of the class. I would also compare myself to other more successful students and beat myself down for not having achieved the same „success“.

In Croatia, every couple of years we hear that our educational system will be reformed, but from my opinion no one knows which ideas to implement.

Therefore, education still stands as one big experiment and all I can say to new generations is- you’ll survive, just like we did.

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Social media

Real life Cannot Be Found On Facebook

I have been using Facebook since I was about 17 years old.

My journey through social media started with Myspace, then Facebook followed (now days I like Twitter the most).

I first set up my Facebook account because it started to be very popular in my country and as I was in high school and you have to be popular in high school- therefore: Facebook!

Facebook was very much different ten years ago than it’s today, but some facts of that social network remained the same- everyone is posting about their happy and often fake lives. Everyone is partying, drinking and enjoying life. When I was younger, I often thought that my high school classmates were like that in real life, but as time passed by, I started to realize how far from the truth that was. Actually most of my colleagues were lost and depressed.

Not much of that fun postings were really true. Unfortunately I was really in a bad mood myself prior to that realization, but now I can observe their posts like a more experienced and mature adult. Actually when I realized that I don’t have to know anything about life of many of my so called „friends“ I was finally free.

While I was in high school, everyone was always gossiping so you had to stay in touch with who got drunk last night, who skipped classes, who made out with someone. Today my Facebook wall is bombarded with pictures of kids and weddings which I also don’t quite understand- shouldn’t photos of kids be kept private?

The best advice I could give myself is to quit Facebook, but unfortunately like all habits that have to be broken, it is not going to be easy. I already deactivated my account multiple times, but I always came back.

In reality today, I think you can only replace one social network with another, so perhaps I can quit Facebook and then start to write more on other platforms and connect with those people whose opinion I share with.

That’s a good start.

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