Some thoughts

Journal

Some optimistic thoughts concerning me. Probably don’t read.

None of my college summers, except for the first one (business minor), have gone as planned. Yet again, another one of my summers is starting to be turned on its head. I have big dreams, for which I lose sleep while applying with all my heart and soul for gateway opportunities, and then I’m turned down in favor of, usually, my classmates. Which makes me feel awfully embarrassed and inferior.

But also, every time I apply for something, I gain false confidence. I feel good that I pushed myself out there for the opportunity and gave the application my very best, infusing the essays or proposal with my experiences, passions, and promises. I feel confident because I’m a good writer, which hopefully makes me persuasive. And I feel confident because I’m confident…because I’m confident, because I’m confident.

Call it a dangerous upward spiral.

All of this paves the way for a very sore loser. I’ve always been an incredibly sore loser.

I think I’m bad at acknowledging that it all still works out for me. I gave up on music, only to choose a profession that–while delaying gratification via abusive schooling–will earn me more money and a more mentally stable Erica. Music always made me go a little bit crazy.

I earned my first summer internship back home here in Greensboro (…I wanted it to be in New Orleans), where I could recover after a treacherous second year of architecture school and start learning small bits about the professional world. I am forever in Lindsey Architecture‘s debt. (Sorry I was so timid and inexperienced! I’m much better now!)

I had thoughts of leaving architecture school, but my Ph.D parents implored me to persevere, and man, were they right. They’re backed by a bit of personal experience, you see.

The following fall semester was lousy, but then for Comprehensive studio this past spring, I got the professor (home-boy Scott Bernhard) and project (artists’ housing!) of my dreams. I could have been a better student still, but it was my most positive studio experience yet.

I seriously considered staying in my comfort zone last semester and doing a studio in New Orleans as always, but my entire support system of family, friends, and faculty told me I just *had* to go abroad. So I chose Rome and came out of it a new, more inspired, and more independent person.

I keep losing opportunities I wanted and despondently ditching plans, reflecting on how I must be inferior to my classmates and viewed lowly by my professors, and generally feeling bitter toward architecture school–but why on Earth?! Erica, are you crazy? –Yes, I definitely am somewhat.

I persevered, kept applying, kept trying, and DID NOT GIVE UP. And all went well. With perspective, I realize I’m in a beautiful place. I’m doing incredible things.

Yesterday I went with Mom and Dad to watch Darkest Hour. (Digression: other movies on my to-watch list are The Post and The Last Jedi, so don’t ruin the latter for me! I still haven’t seen it yet, and I want to!) It was extraordinarily well-done and also a nice supplement to Dunkirk. The movie ended dramatically with this Winston Churchill quote:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

How…architecture school.

*self-righteous mic drop*

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