Getting Schooled

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I've been meaning to write a post about school for a long time. Since before I started in August, actually, but I haven't really known where to start. I'm not so great at short and succinct. And anyway, it took me three years to get here: a year to get my residency permit and then another couple of years to complete the state mandated Danish language program (I had to pass the equivalent of Danish high school exams to be eligible for university here). I think I made it pretty clear that it was a tough season of my life, being in this state of uncertain limbo and feeling like I was wasting whatever potential I might have to be a contributing member of society. Not to mention the change of identity and waves of homesickness that accompany a move to another country, but that's for another post. 

If it seems like a big jump from art history to architecture, it both was and wasn't. I loved studying art history, but always knew that I didn't want to be a professor or a curator - my internship at an art gallery here confirmed that the art world wasn't for me. What I loved most about art history was studying and designing spaces, and the way that people's interactions and experiences were shaped by them. I didn't realize then that architecture encompasses that and more, I thought architecture was more science than art. I struggled for a long time with finding a meaningful creative discipline. As much as I am a firm believer in the importance of art, to me it can also feel inherently superficial or insular in these times. I took a while to come to the conclusion, but I decided that through architecture I could help provide the framework for positive change that I envisioned.

I've already learnt so much by going back to school, not just about architecture but also about myself. It's been a challenge adjusting to a new language, field, and system. But it's also been just as challenging to stop being so analytical and self-critical and to trust and believe in myself, as cheesy as that sounds. To let go of my expectations of myself, and to come to terms with the fact that to get where I want, I have to do another bachelor degree (and masters, of course) which means my ridiculous, self-imposed "life timeline" will get pushed back. But most of all, I feel grateful. I am so thankful that I get to spend my days learning and growing and doing something I love (and getting paid for it - thanks Danish government, I forgive you for all the bureaucracy and language lessons that you made me go through). And that hopefully one day I will be able to give back a little. We'll see, right? #YOLO and all that.

I took these snapshots around our campus a couple of weeks ago while we were doing a photography workshop. Not a bad place to study really.


  1. Appreciated this post so much - so well said. I've just started school again and felt/feel much the same (but without the whole going to school in a different country/language thing!) - can't wait to hear more & see the incredible things that you design.

    1. Thanks so much, Jill! I'd love to hear more about your academic pursuits as well! Us art history grads have to stuck together.

  2. Can't wait until you have your own practice and I can come by and pester the receptionist to give me five minutes with you so we can goss. We're so proud of you! xx


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