In addition to the Big Project (final title to come), we have been tasked this week with giving advice to the future ds106 students. As I have been staring at other languages for several hours (physics and Italian), I will use this to jot down some thoughts for later finalization.
Coming into ds106, the warnings were clear. This would be a lot of work. At 17 credits, I worried if it would be more than I could handle. If it were not for the gen-ed and general determination to not drop a course, the email warning sent out may have encouraged me to quietly exit from the course before it had ever started. For future ds106 students, this warning is important. It doesn’t over-exaggerate the difficulty you will face. That said, there are tips that I would have loved to have had.
First and foremost, you can do it. It may seem daunting, and it may be entirely new to you, but you are fully capable of finishing this course with flying colors.
Second, creation is daunting. Putting yourself out there is daunting. I can promise, though, that it will be worth it. Overcoming fear is no small feat, but dividing that fear into little acts of creation every day and every week does help.
Third, experience is not required. While I had background in software coming in, many I know did not. Many had no functional website, no experience editing photos or videos, and no experience sharing with the masses. This is all okay. It’s okay to be inexperienced, and its okay to worry about being inexperienced. You can and will make beautiful things.
Last but not least, don’t stop creating. I believe that minds procure ideas from infinite sources, conscious and unconscious. This course can help you let those ideas out, and will allow you to bring them into the world, little by little. You won’t lose the abilities you gain here. Even when the class comes to a close, keep going. The world needs more of what lives inside your head.