Creative Thinking for Uni Students

As a student, it is sometimes (ok, often) difficult to come up with fresh and creative ideas—especially when we are flooded with project and assignment deadlines.  So when I heard about a presentation called the Dean’s Lecture Series on Creative Thinking, I was eager to learn some tips for allowing those creative and innovative juices start to flow.  And although I won’t give it all away, here are the top 3 lessons I learned from Dr. Gerrard Puccio’s presentation:

Learn to separate divergent and convergent thinking 


It will be hard to break from the way we’ve been thinking, but when we learn to stop analyzing and editing our work before we even get the ideas out, we’ll see better results!

Divergent thinking involves thinking differently, originally, and making associations and connections across different industries. Convergent thinking is analyzing and evaluating those ideas, and thinking more realistically and practically.  Dr. Puccio noted that flipping between the two forms of thought is like trying to drive a car while having your foot on the brake.  If we want to be more effective, we need to suspend our judgements by first getting all our ideas out, and then evaluating them (not gonna’ lie, this made me want to watch the movie, Divergent).

Start projects early


When you start early, you usually finish early. And when you realize you have time to watch a whole season of your fav show on Netflix you’ll be like

Unfortunately, the concept that the best ideas occur when we are under pressure is untrue (for the most part).  Therefore, when we have deadlines, it is best to start projects early, so we can incorporate enough “idea time”.  That way, if our brilliant idea doesn’t come to us immediately, we won’t be stressing as much!

Quantity is key

Apparently, Ernest Hemingway wrote, like, 47 different endings to one of his novels, but ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat. However, brainstorming and getting as many different ideas on paper, can be very beneficial.

When generating ideas, writing down as many things that come to our mind is very helpful, because the first set of ideas are usually things we’ve already seen or heard of.  It’s in getting to the second and third sets of brainstorming, that we really start channeling our original thoughts, and creating novelty.


So here are three tips to consider when attempting to foster more creative thinking.  I didn’t take advantage of all the presentations and seminars offered to students last year, but after such a useful and engaging lecture, I’m excited to see what other lessons I can learn from the pros Ryerson invites on campus.

How do you get your creative juices flowin’?!


Check out for info on Dr. Puccio’s school and for more creativity resources! Good Luck with your creative endeavors!




Related Posts