Adobe software

Yesterday I received the results of the final assignments of my graphic design course. It was an… interesting experience.

If you’re new to any of my blogs, I can tell you that I’m suffering badly from impostor syndrome and whatever other names for self-doubt you can come up with. When I attend courses nowadays, I never know what level my work is supposed to be at, so I work myself almost sick from stress (did the same with an Italian course at Lund university a few years ago) because I have such high ambitions and think everything has to be high-level to be good.

For this course I had four assignments to submit, one for each Adobe design-relevant piece of software – Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign, and then a Master Design assignment where we would use all programs and show we know which should be used for what. I submitted my last project at midday on the day of deadline, the 15th of November, and I was absolutely exhausted. It took me about a week to get back to normal!

My head was a mish-mash of layers, tools, filters, colour palettes, colour profiles, export settings and whatnot after finishing my projects

But also with all this hard work, I didn’t know if I would pass, although I personally loved my projects and thought they were good, even great. I went from “I might have a chance to get something higher than just pass” to “I probably won’t even pass”.

Why do I need other people’s validation to actually know it’s good “for real”? So silly. But that was one of the reasons I attended this course – to have a real teacher in flesh and blood (I had only done Udemy courses before, which is great but the teacher is mostly just a name on the screen, and a voice on videos) to discuss things with, and confirm I’m on the right track.

On to the results.

I had seen a message on the online learning platform that we would receive our results on the 11th December at 4 pm. I tried to keep busy all day, doing some music practice, and then me and my husband recorded some songs for a friend in Sweden who celebrated his 60th birthday. Then suddenly it was 4.11 pm.

I had received an e-mail from the university and followed the link in it. I logged in. Then I sat in disbelief for a minute, looking at a word on the screen.

Distinction.

All my assignments except one had received a pass with distinction! The one that didn’t, got a pass with merit.
My overall grade was Distinction.

What a wonderful word!

I’m still in some kind of disbelief or shock. But I feel an immense joy, pride, self-respect, and feeling of achievement. It was totally worth all the hard work! When I get my certificate I’m going to frame it, put it on the wall, and look at it if my impostor syndrome tries to hit me in the head.

If anyone thinks it’s awful to brag about your own achievements like this, then I’ll remind you that I’ve been in a state of self-loathing all my adult life. It’s not healthy, and it’s about time that I give myself a pat on the back and tell myself that I kick *****. Sometimes, at least!

So am I a graphic designer now? I guess it depends on how you define it. I probably wouldn’t call myself that until people pay me for my work. I’ll get there! Or actually, my PT reminded me that they paid me to adjust their logo files to make them printable on t-shirts.

I think I’m a graphic designer now. 😀


Linking with Denyse Whelan’s Wednesday’s words and pics.

Wednesday's words and pics

22 responses to “Distinction”

  1. Debbie Harris avatar

    Well done Susanne, that’s brilliant and well deserved for all your hard work! It’s hard blowing our own trumpet sometimes isn’t it but we have to at times and this is definitely one of those times.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Debbie!!

  2. Joanne Tracey avatar

    Fantastic! Well done. As someone who suffers also from a massive case of the not good enoughs until someone who knows about that stuff tells you you are good enough, I totally get you. Congratulations.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Joanne, good to hear I’m not alone but it’s sad at the same time!

  3. Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au avatar

    That’s so fantastic Susanne – and such an affirmation of your skills and talent. My husband uses those Adobe programs for his design work and when I watch him in action it astounds me as to how intricate it all is and how many tools you need to master. So yes, hang that certificate up somewhere and high five yourself every time you walk past it. If you add that to you photography skills, your musical talent, your blogging, your ability to make a home in a foreign country – and so much more, you might begin to see how awesome you actually are. xxx

    1. Susanne avatar

      Oh nice, I didn’t know your husband was a designer (or I may have forgotten)! Yes, the Adobe apps are quite complex but once you know how one works it’s quite quick to learn the others – although Photoshop is quite different from the others.
      Thanks for your lovely comment, adding in all the other things that I do… I haven’t thought of it like that.

  4. Jennifer Jones avatar

    Congratulations Susanne. That’s fabulous news. Your hard work has paid off, and I think you should brag and shout it from the rooftops that you are a graphic designer.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Jennifer, I’ll do my best to do that!!

  5. Retirement Reflections avatar
    Retirement Reflections

    Congratulations, Susanne – You definitely are a certified Graphic Designer — with distinction!
    Well done!!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Donna! It feels good to have reached this point! Now I need to collect the courage to market myself too, perhaps that’s the hardest part.

  6. Denyse Whelan avatar

    Remember this post any time you begin to doubt yourself again!! Congratulations on your achievement and now moving forward into something new…..you CAN do this!!

    Thanks for being part of the Wednesday’s Words and Pics group with your post this week. It’s the last link up for 2022 next Wednesday, 21 December, and I hope you get to add a post again! The link up returns on Wednesday 4 January 2023. Warmest wishes, Denyse.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you, Denyse! I’ll certainly remind myself of this when I need to. I received the certificate on Tuesday and will have it printed asap.

  7. Suzanne avatar

    Congratulations! “Distinction” is a wonderful word and to hear it after so much hard work (and anxiety) must be such a wonderful, gratifying feeling.

    This question resonated with me: “Why do I need other people’s validation to actually know it’s good “for real”?” I struggle with this need for external validation, too, and really wish I knew the answer to that “why”!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Suzanne, and yes, isn’t it annoying, our need for validation? I guess we have to accept it’s quite normal, but try to work on believing in ourselves.

  8. Lydia C. Lee avatar

    Distinction is a wonderful word. And it’s not a bad thing to celebrate achievemetns you’ve worked hard for. It’s some bizarre thing women are taught as children not to show off. In the past I would say Kanye it up but that’s dated horrifically badly so while I get a new catch phrase, just remember there’s nothing wrong being your own hypeman. #WWandP

    1. Susanne avatar

      You’re right that we’re somehow taught to not show off. It’s sad, isn’t it, and it’s about time to fight that and be proud of our achievements.

  9. Jenny avatar

    Congratulations!!! You’re not bragging- you’re just reporting on your results. I suffer from imposter syndrome too (why???) so I totally get it. Yes, frame your certificate and put it on the wall where you can see it, to remind yourself that you’re NOT an imposter.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you, Jenny. This is so common! I read an interesting quote some year ago “the only difference between you and that successful person is that they believed in themselves” and that triggered something in me, to start working on my self-doubt, and to act as if I believe in myself, even if I don’t necessarily do.

  10. San avatar

    Congratulations, Susanne! I know all about imposter syndrome, so I know how good it feels to get – unexpected, but deserved – praise! And you have the right to shout it from the roof tops!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, San! It still feels unreal a month after 😂!

  11. Anne avatar

    What a wonderful surprise for you, Susanne. You are so creative in so many ways – think about it: music, photos, designing your own line of merchandise, and now recognized as a graphic designer with DISTINCTION! I think it’s unusual and amazing that you can create in so many different ways. And you are willing to put in the work – and it’s HARD work – and then share with the rest of us. Thank you for doing that. <3

    But oh, I do know well the power of imposter syndrome. Sigh. I wish we didn't have to deal with it but it just seems to rear its ugly head just when I (and maybe you, too?) think that maybe, just maybe, I've put it behind. No such luck for me – but I hope this helps you do so. Maybe. Eventually. 🙂

    I do hope you celebrated however you most wanted to. <3

    1. Susanne avatar

      It was a lovely feeling, Anne, and I must say that my self-doubt hasn’t come back in my graphic design. I didn’t think a cert would help but it must have. I’m in deep crisis with everything else right now but not with my design.
      We didn’t really celebrate it, but some week later we decided to join our whiskey society’s fancy Christmas tasting, so maybe yes.

      Impostor syndrome is an ugly beast and I really wish there was a way to overcome it. Thanks for your lovely words about my creative work. 🙂 That made me feel good!

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