AWARD School: Group Therapy For Creatives

AWARD School: Group Therapy For Creatives

AWARD School grad Bryce Waters is still suffering a hangover from his graduation ceremony as he reflects on the experience and looks at what comes next.

Bryce Waters
Posted by Bryce Waters

So AWARD school 2014 is done and dusted. Dusted being a highly appropriate word, because I’m fairly sure I’m still hung over from the graduation night, where me and my partner – Kiah Nicholas were named as two of the lucky sods to be inside the top ten. AWARD school was amazing in so many ways, but for the benefit of people thinking about doing it next year, I thought I’d write a short list of things to expect, as well as give you a couple of pointers I wish I had gotten (or listened to) before I started.

  1. It’s hard work. When you think you have enough ideas, do more. You can bet someone in your class will have the same 40 shit ideas you’ve just had. Take 100 to every class and force your tutor to look at them.
  2. You will cry at some point. Probably in the shower, and probably while in the fetal position, but it will be worth it.
  3. Your tutors will give blunt feedback. If your idea is shit, they will tell you it’s shit, and if it’s good – they’ll say it’s okay. ZERO sugar coating here.
  4. If you want to feel better about yourself, show your ad to your mum. She will remind you that you are talented, and you do have amazing ideas. This is most useful after number two.
  5. Monday’s beer costs money, Thursday’s are free. You WILL need both.
  6. You’ll celebrate an amazing idea by having one too many drinks at a tutorial and subsequently forget all feedback in relation to your ads and find yourself and a fellow student doing handstands in the hallways of Whybin/TWBA. Or maybe you won’t.
  7. At some point, you will discuss politics and have opinions about something you know nothing about.
  8. You will disagree with your tutors at some point. Don’t Argue, it makes you look like a dick and you’ll never win. Your tutors are wearing expensive watches and nice shoes for a reason.
  9. You will play wingman/wingwoman for someone in your tut group.
  10. People will be secretive/protective of their ideas, and you should be too (I learned this far too late).
  11. At some point, you will question the meaning of life.
  12. You will make a spelling error in your final book submission.
  13. You will write a punny/inappropriate headline, much to the disapproval of your tutor. You WILL find it hilarious.
  14. You may become delirious or develop a twitch in the last week.
  15. See number one.

All that being said though, the AWARD experience was amazing, and I kept saying to Pete (School Head) I’d do it again if I needed to, and honestly – I would. I met a lot of great people, learned a huge amount and it’s definitely an experience I will not soon forget. One thing that stood out to me, all of our tutors donated a massive amount of their time to help and get very little in return, so I’d like to thank them once more. In particular, Russ Tucker from Whybin/TBWA who is a time poor CD with a young family, yet he was frequently up till midnight or 1am responding to endless emails, holding boozy tutorials and letting us work in parts of his office. He is an absolute legend. Thanks man!