Whenever someone talks about graduating, it’s always followed by a flood of emotions, uncertainty, and excitement – as well as a sense of achievement. For the most part, I was no different. I looked forward to it from the start of my senior year. Saying I was excited was the understatement of the century. In June, I’d finally finish a degree that took me four straight years of hard work, late nights, and SO MUCH PAPER. Not to mention, I’d also be sharing the moment with the friends and family I had to leave for University. That being said, I lacked that nervous uncertainty that comes with this monumental achievement.
In April, I was accepted into Drexel’s Arts Administration Master’s Program. After a short summer off, I already knew what I’d be doing for the next fifteen months – I’d be earning my Master’s. Out of everyone in my graduating class, very few had made the decision to pursue their Master’s so early. For me, I knew it was something I’d always wanted to do. Yes, it’s a little early, but because of my financial situation, it made sense. Not only that, but most of my mentors expressed some sort of interest in having a Master’s degree. They just struggled with the hurdles that arise when you go back to school. They have families and careers. It’s hard to add night classes to their regimen and expect them to balance it all effortlessly.
Toward the end of my senior year, I often worried and second-guessed my decision to continue with school. I kept thinking, “There has to be a reason no one else is doing this. What am I NOT seeing?”
It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that we’re all different. This morning, I just found out one of my classmates decided to randomly move to California! I didn’t know she was thinking about making that change. It certainly isn’t the right one for me, but it may be for her. It’s always been my dream to one day own my own design studio. I know I need more education in business and financing, so why not get started learning about it now? If anything, it’ll add a new tool to my utility belt during my future job hunt.
For now, my main concern is that I continue to design during my studies. Working part-time at Michael Graves Architecture & Design helps a lot with that, but I think I may start freelancing soon as well. I loved building my best friend’s brand, and I’m excited about the new work I’m doing for Help Me Excel. Continuing design will keep my portfolio updated, my brain sharp, and my heart happy. I’d never leave design for business, and I’m sure I’ll miss it during every term paper I write and every financing equation I solve. I do know one thing, though. When I’m sitting in my office in my own design firm, my future-self will thank my past-self for all of her hard work.