Dark Academia, a thriving subculture, may be considered a TikTok-originated phenomenon, and possibly connected to Tumblr and Pinterest, but in reality, it’s a trend that has been around for years – possibly without a term and category to define it. Regardless of when it originated and how you may feel about this particular trend, one thing’s for certain: the Dark Academia aesthetic may very well be the first of its kind to glorify productivity, introspection, self growth, and self improvement.
What Is Dark Academia?
As mentioned, Dark Academia is a subculture, and just like any other subculture, it strongly focuses on appearance. When it comes to the Dark Academia aesthetic, all you really have to do is combine vintage with an edgy and chic twist.
Becoming a part of the Dark Academia trend in this manner is not difficult at all: All you have to do is shift your clothes-buying attention to thrift shops. Also, stay clear from overly bright colors and focus more on browns and grays, black, and muted shades, such as maroon, mustard, olive, etc. A plain and simple design is the best, but if you crave some pattern, think plaid, checks, and vintage-like swirls and florals. Essentially, if you look like a mid-20th century college student in England yet still manage to fit with the modern fashion standards, you’re doing it right.
The true nature of the Dark Academia aesthetic may not be in the appearance, though, as much as it is in the lifestyle and daily habits of the subculture’s followers. The biggest focus of Dark Academia is on literature and art. And while there are plenty of other activities that this trend encourages, reading, writing, painting, and appreciating works of art are without a doubt the most prominent.
Exploring the world through its beauty and artistic touch is something that can easily be attributed to everyone interested in the Dark Academia aesthetic. That and an avid love of coffee, of course.
The Productive Power of Dark Academia
Even though extremely simplified, the above description of the Dark Academia aesthetic and its subgenres shows that the trend, in general, is not something new. However, it effectively embodies whole lifestyles and preferences that may have been challenging to explain and conceptualize before.
While many other subcultures promote the love of books and art, there has never been one that built its popularity and grasp on those particulars as much as Dark Academia. And not only that, but other activities such as learning about the world and oneself, too.
Oftentimes, certain subcultures can be viewed negatively by society, most frequently due to misunderstanding them. But considering that it includes “dark” in its name, Dark Academia, in essence, is nothing but positive. It seems to be especially positive in helping people accept themselves and find the inner strength to pursue their dreams and hobbies – a crucial step to leading a happy life that’s abundant in productivity.
The 100 Days of Productivity Challenge
As a part of Dark Academia trends, a new and rather useful challenge was born: 100 days of productivity. The goal of the challenge is to breathe motivation into your day-to-day life so that you can go to bed feeling accomplished and satisfied. Hopefully, after completing this 100-day challenge, you’ll already have formed a habit of making your days as productive as they can be for you.
Many followers of Dark Academia have taken up journaling about their progress, and you can see their efforts on Tumblr.
The Simple Habits Mean a Lot
It’s the activities that fit the lifestyle of Dark Academia that can help make a change for the better. Let’s consider the main focus. Reading and writing are not only means of relaxation, but also a great part of boosting productivity and motivation.
Furthermore, allowing yourself to get immersed in books and art builds brainpower and concentration. It also fosters innovative thinking and imagination, which are necessary for excelling in modern-day professions, such as copywriter, graphic designer, and similar, as well. Certainly, you can see how the aesthetic comes into play as well.
Spending time appreciating or practicing art builds attention to detail and perceptiveness that are often key traits that employers ask for. As supporting blocks of a productive mindset, it’s no wonder that these characteristics are often included in job listings, too.
Let’s discuss the love of nature as well. Steve Jobs talked far and wide about the benefits of walking and spending time in nature. This is a rather mindful way to clear one’s mind and allow for new ideas and solutions to bloom. The physical activity together with fresh air and greenery are amazing productivity allies.
Dark Academia Productive Work Tips
There are several tips for living a productive life in the Dark Academia subculture. But they don’t have to be constrained to just followers of Dark Academia and its aesthetic – they’re suitable for anyone looking to be more productive.
- Rewrite your notes and to-do lists while focusing on each and every word
- Read these notes and to-dos out loud slowly and meaningfully
- Start with one task at a time from early morning
- Take the time to clear things up for yourself and learn more, even if the object of your interest does not have an immediate connection to your work at hand
- Prepare healthy snacks that you love to eat during your breaks
- Play some soothing, preferably classical music in the background
- If you find a certain task to be a bit challenging, try to romanticize it by connecting it to a person or a place you like or reinterpreting it in a magic-like way for your own fun
Aesthetics Can Make a Difference
The importance of clothing in regards to your own self-perception and motivation has been immensely discussed. If you want to enjoy working out more, choose trendy, flattering gym clothes instead of old, baggy garments. If your goal is to slay in the business world, don’t hesitate to dress for the part and convince yourself of your authority before anyone else. The same principle applies to Dark Academia aesthetics as well.
As mentioned, the main guide to dressing in this way is to adopt the scholarly look – with your own unique touch, of course. This evokes the desire to be productive, learn, and get accomplished from the get-go. Add to that that you’re free to surround yourself with other material aspects of the aesthetics such as décor, accessories, office design, etc. that you thoroughly enjoy, and you have yourself an ideal environment for happily chasing your dreams and goals.
You don’t have to dress a certain way or adopt a label in order to practice habits and lead a lifestyle that will constantly give back to you. Still, it’s nice to see the growing recognition the Dark Academia and its aesthetics is receiving, especially from the younger population, as it makes all the positives of productive and self-accepting life more mainstream.