Annoyed by classmate

I am becoming annoyed by a classmate in my design program. She has no talent, cheated her way into the program, and does not appear interested in learning about i.d. There is a certain sense of exclusivity in being in the program and all she cares about is to belong among “the guys”. Has anyone experienced others who are in the field just for the sake of being part of a group? It’s really annoying and it sometimes sucks the motivation out of me.

You’re going to deal with people you don’t necessarily like all the time. You can’t manage personalities, and you shouldn’t. I don’t see any reason why someone should have the power to ‘suck the motivation out of you’, especially as a student.

You’re there to learn, if that person is distracting and doesn’t get your creative juices flowing then don’t be around her when you need to focus on your work.

In professional environments these situations are critical. It’s your responsibility to keep emotions and personality issues out of the equation and if you can’t put out your best work because of one person irritating you then you’re going to have an unhappy employer and most likely be out of a job. Teams are everywhere, learn to interact with EVERYONE!

You can pick your friends. Not your co-workers.

This won’t change.

Stop being a dick and focus on your own work.

If you can’t figure out how to work around people whom you have disagreements/differences with then maybe YOU are the issue. The design field is incredibly competitive and motivation is a huge component of making great solutions. Inspiration leads to motivation and it’s something you have to seek out. If you feel as though she is not putting her full effort on the table then she will be weeded out eventually either by the educational system or by industry.

Also, just a word of advice but you are part of a small cohort now and as you progress into your career you are going to need this team of people. Best not to burn bridges by posting into industry specific blog boards to stab your team members in the back.

Look for opportunity not problems.

Unless she’s doing something to negatively affect your work I wouldn’t really bother to care. There’s always going to be people who don’t value certain things you do so there’s no sense in getting yourself worked up over something that ultimately, is only of concern to the person in question.

Why should another person impact your motivation? That’s an excuse if I ever heard one.

“How come you didn’t get your project done on time?”

“Because Sally has a trust fund and flirted her way to success!”

“You’re fired”

Life is not fair. There will always be people you dislike for whatever reason. In many cases, you will work with them on a daily basis and may even become your boss.

If you have to work with the person, then you need to learn to deal with them. If you just dislike a student in class because you dislike them, then get over it. The best revenge is graduating and getting a job and watching them get what is coming to them will happen naturally, so move on. Or they’ll end up being super successful and you’ll still hate them. Either way you can’t control it so move on.

Thanks for the feedback, even if it’s tough love. I’ll be sure to remind myself of some of these wise words next time I’m feeling frustrated.

I was also curious if this happens at other schools where there is some level of exclusivity and bond for having made it into the program (whether deserving or not). Most of us are in it because of our passion and career goals, but it frustrates me when I see others see a small program solely as a social outlet and some sort of exclusive club.

Mia -

As others have mentioned these types of people are going to be there and through out you entire career. What you have to do is realize that you are are only in control of your own work. These types of people do not last forever. They come do their act and get away with some unbelievable crap, but someone eventually calls them on it. They can only fake it for so long. Trust me I went to school with plenty of these types and they aren’t doing much now.

I know it sounds cheesy, but you will be the one that comes out on top as long you focus on your work and your goals. You are in school. Your work should be about nothing more than producing at the best you can and getting that top notch job. Don’t worry about others at this point and focus on yourself. Let her do her antics and fall on her face. Sit back and enjoy the show.


Edit - To answer your question above yes both in school and at work. I have dealt with your situation, others trying to take credit for my work, and bosses playing favorites. Its life and comes with being a creator. I am now in charge of creative for $1B+ brand both ID and GD. Most of the others have fallen off. Focus on yourself, its all you can control.

I’d say that there is a level of camaraderie, but IMO it’s mostly due to the long evenings/nights in studio moreso than the exclusivity of the program. I’ve found that ID students tend to be closer since most of their work involves them being in studio working with their peers so you get to know people on a deeper level (aka see when they snap haha).

What I try to be wary of is trying to put yourself (and your opinion) on a pedestal because “you’re a designer”. Me and some classmates have often had these thoughts and we have to remind ourselves that in the end, it’s about the user because they’re who we’re designing for, not ourselves.

At school. At work. For the entire history and future of humankind.

Mia, I also came from a school where the program once it was cut to those who “get in” was very small, where there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears getting in, and where there is pretty much always one blatant cheater or “flirter” who ends up getting in, I understand your original sentiments. I can understand how it would suck the motivation out of you because you see someone else who you FEEL didn’t work as hard as you and is in the same place as you… that can certainly be frustrating and injure the bonded feeling of the class for some.

That said, although I can sympathize to a certain degree, I agree with all of the above. There will always be that person, they will always get to you at some point (whether you “let them” or not, it happens, I don’t think anyone here could say that they haven’t at some point been gotten to by someone like this). You are better off reminding yourself that you earned it and you can feel pretty spectacular about that. They may or may not have earned it, and if they didn’t they probably feel pretty bad about themselves when they go home at night away from “the guys”. It will all come out in the wash.

Education is different than the professional world. In the end, at least here in the US, it is a lot about paying your way into a school.
I went to a school in the US, which is notorious for this kind of thing.
But truthfully, if people just didn’t work that hard, it showed and I never really felt that threatened.

I have to say however, that depending on where you work, a lackluster attitude or lack in talent will not be tolerated and these people don’t stick around. Firms on the highest level just can’t afford having someone who doesn’t pull their weight. There is too much talent out there. The ones who have the same attitude as you are the ones you have to worry about and compete against.
Ignore the rest.

I would suggest to take this experience and turn it into the motivation to work harder. So you can score a job at a place that is so high end and produces such a high quality of work, that they just don’t have the option to hire anything but excellence.

I remember being in a similar situation and complaining to an instructor. The instructor basically told me the person was paying full tuition so in a way was paying for my scholarship, so I should just focus on my own work and not concern myself… and interesting perspective for sure. The idealist in me had a hard time with it for sure… just wait until you encounter this with co-workers, and you likely will. It can be difficult. In the end, the best thing to do is just outshine them.

As everyone has said, someone who does no work will soon be found out.

Don’t be too harsh though, many students are enjoying the student life. Goofing off and doing the bare minimum are understandable when you are 20, away from home, cashed up, surrounded by all sort of temptations. I’ve know a few who turn around (usually after failing something) and work hard and end up doing really good work.

My only caveat is if you are doing group work, and their slackness is contributing to your poor mark (especially if you are working your arse off), you need to bring it to their attention, and if that doesn’t work the lecturers attention.

You see through her, and don’t like what’s going on there. And yet, it may turn out that she will become way more successful than you. How harsh and unfair life can be. Try to accept that that may happen. She has her own past and she will have her own future, with success in some areas and struggles in others, and it’s the same for you.

From a more Buddhist/esoteric perspective I would emphasize that you are always in relation to all other people. You coming here to complain will influence the energy field you carry around and that affects your relationship with this girl - there is no escape in this universe. It can be extremely difficult - I speak from experience - but it’s a good idea to reflect/meditate on this relationship. Sometimes people you are in conflict with may present themselves before your mind’s eye, maybe before you go to sleep. This is an invitation to become more aware of your relationship to them and change your attitude. You may try to see things from their perspective more, for example. It helps for me - I catch the negative thought and put in some appreciation for the person, instead.

Exactly, like the opportunity I’m taking here to mention that calling people in this small cohort a dick doesn’t necessarily build bridges.

Anyways, I agree with ralpzoontjens, try to see this person from a different perspective. If you struggle with that allow me to share my own. There was a gal exactly like this when I was in school, she was a nice person, we got along, but I saw right through how she used sex appeal to get other guys in the program to shoulder her work. I helped her a couple times with simple stuff, but I saw what was going on. Ultimately she graduated and as far as I know she never set foot inside a design studio again. Maybe in your case this person is a designer poser hipster who hasn’t figured out they’re not still in high school. Or maybe you’re jealous because she gets the attention. Whatever it is, it isn’t worth the drama, there will always be people who bullshit their way through things, and so maybe this person is there to remind you to not be one of those people.