Many students doing a photography or fine art study program fail completely to get out of it all they could. Here is how to improve on this.
During the course of a semester of study, students are caught up in the tasks of note taking and doing projects/assignments. This dominates all thinking: the looming deadlines and examinations (if the course has them). This keeps their focus on doing what has to be done and not on drawing personal insights from the work they are doing.
One way to overcome this is for the student to take the opportunity of the breaks and holidays to sit down with their visual diaries and assignments and reflect on the work they have done, what they have learning and what they want to pursue from there. This reflection is critical and well done visual diaries and notebooks can greatly assist this by allowing the student to refresh themselves on what they did earlier in the semester. Few if any colleges encourage this, mainly because everyone, staff and students alike, are just plain exhausted and looking forward to the break.
All art students should also study creativity and the various ways of working with this, stimulating it and sharpening it as a tool you can control. This involves being exposed to the thinking that has happened about creativity since Freud.