“Congratulations Class of 2015- We did it!” Yes, I am quoting the film Legally Blonde and will come back around to more of Elle Woods’ speech throughout this article. If you have not seen this movie, I urge you to watch it immediately-as in right after you finish reading this article (it’s streaming on Netflix!). All joking aside, many of you are graduating this year and are getting a dose of inspirational speeches, words of wisdom, as well as the scary question, “So what’s your plan after graduation?”
Through countless hours of work and those all nighters in studio, it was hard to think that you would even make it to your graduation day. And yet, here you are, graduating. You’ve met some of your closest friends during your time in architecture school, and now you are each going your separate ways. You’ve come to love architecture, or not. And then that question comes to pester you again, “So what’s your plan after graduation?”
The last few months leading up to commencement, your peers scramble to try and answer that question. Studio becomes gossip central as to what everyone’s plans are, and it becomes easy to psych yourself out not knowing with confidence your next move. And yet, the one thing I can think in response to all the chaos goes back to Elle Woods-“You must always have faith in yourself.”
Graduating from architecture school is a major accomplishment, and you need to remind yourself of that. With that sense of faith and accomplishment, you need to do and act on what is best for you. Some of your peers will go to graduate school to pursue a masters in architecture, as well as pursue a masters in other disciplines (both design and not design related)… or pursue careers in graphic design, design movie posters… work for boutique firms… work for corporate firms… take time to travel… continue to apply for jobs until the right one comes along… as well as pursue careers outside the field of design.
I realize that this is a broad overview of the possibilities, but that’s kind of the magic of it. The possibilities really are endless. With a degree in architecture, one can pursue many branches within our field and beyond. You don’t need to have a plan and you don’t need to have it figured it out just yet. Architecture school is and has been non-stop, continuous, and draining. Just take a moment to reflect on your success and new degree. Below is a link to Elle Woods’ speech (you’re welcome).