DASH Dispatch: In terms of workload and time management, what are the main differences between what you knew about your strand before you started versus now?
Jordan Mayer: As a rising sophomore I was warned about the rigorous curriculum of the fashion strand, but I was also told that all of the hard work will pay off one day. I have always been motivated to do my best and stand out in class, because I am passionate about fashion design and will do what I can to achieve success. I have grown to love fashion, and the assignments that I am given are enjoyable to me. I definitely think that as the years go by the workload has become more challenging, however skills develop over time as well so with every new challenge comes a new wave of growth and development.
DD: What strategies or changes to your routine have helped you manage your workload?
JM: Checklists. They are very important to my daily routine, and I feel like they are a way to organize my thoughts and allow me to stay on track. I have an agenda/planner, and every time I am given an assignment, I list it under my things I need to do. Another trick I have found helpful to stay on top of my workload is writing things down I need to do that are not related to my school work (such as pick up my sister after school, or attend a youth group meeting that night, etc.). That way I can realistically prioritize what work I have to do that night and what assignments I can risk leaving for the next day if my schedule is too full for the night.
DD: How do you get your work done outside of DASH when you don’t have access to the resources at school (i.e. software, sewing machines, etc.)?
JM: Being a senior fashion student, it is almost a necessity to own a sewing machine. I took advantage of my birthday my junior year to ask for my sewing machine, because I know that come time of the fashion show I am going to need one to work from home on my collection. Before I had the resources, I learned to take advantage of the sewing machines at school every chance I got — whether it was during reading time or an available class period — and I would do what I could at home (ex. cut fabric and make patterns). When it felt practically impossible to finish constructing my garment at school, I would ask to stay at a friend’s house overnight or after school to borrow her sewing machine.
DD: In what ways have your classmates, family, or friends become a support system?
JM: After three years of maturing in the fashion room, my strandmates have become a family. We all understand the stress we face, and we seek support from one another all the time. My teachers are understanding of the workload I juggle and they usually will adjust deadlines when truly needed. Over the years I have really come to appreciate my family, and how supportive they are of me. They give me my space at home to let me complete my assignments, and encourage me to pursue my studies in art and design. They are always there to support me at every school function and have helped me through the recent process of submitting college applications and dealing with a whole new set of deadlines. DASH has not only given me the opportunity to study what I love, but has also provided me with a network of people who support me.
DD: What do you do to balance school work with time for rest, social activities, a job, etc.?
JM: I have always been the type of person who needs to be involved. I know that I have to put aside a couple hours a day for free time to use towards time at the gym or youth groups or my social life, and the rest of the time after school goes to work. Oh and sleep. I sleep a lot. I know there is a rumor that DASH kids donʼt sleep, but I usually get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Very rarely do I go to sleep after twelve, but that would be because I started my homework much later then I should have. I have found that if I donʼt get enough sleep during the week, I cannot function properly and the work that I produce will just be rushed and not worth turning in. Another way to balance my time is to complete all my work during the week, so that way I have my whole weekend to take a break. Of course if I am assigned a weekend project then I will ﬁnd time to do it, but the key to enjoying your weekend is to ﬁnish the majority of your homework once it is assigned to you. I also realize that because I love what I do, the moment I get assigned a fashion project I jump in and get started right away. We usually have between two weeks to a month to complete a project, so class time and extra hours at home will go towards working on it. I never wait until the last minute to rush a project — those never turn out well.