Time really does fly…. The other day I was thinking back to freshman year when I first moved to Carbondale. I was so excited to experience something new and be hours from home, which I’m sure most of you can relate. Originally I never expected to be homesick but eventually I really began to miss my family and needed to find something to keep me busy. Southern Illinois University provides students with various opportunities, whether you are extremely outgoing or shy and hesitant, there is something here for you.
So why did I decide to stay at SIU to continue my education? The professors in the School of Architecture have been extremely beneficial during my education. Many of them are more than willing to assist us with any issues we may encounter. On more than one occasion I have received numerous emails with precedent studies or alternative ideas from a professor. The relationships that have developed over the years will continue to assist me throughout my career and I hope I can be just as influential for others as my professors have been to me. The diversity of our professors is also beneficial, we all have different learning styles and no matter your strengths or weaknesses there is a faculty member that will be there to assist you.
During high school I was not very involved, I worked multiple jobs and focused on school. I had a few close friends, but I never would have believed you if you told me I was going to hold leadership positions in organizations on campus or preparing to present part of my thesis research at a national conference. College has been a time for me to understand myself and realize what I want to achieve. The future of our profession is unknown, during college we may be required to take out loans to afford our education, causing us to develop debt. Everyone plans on finding a job after graduation but this is not always the case. Fortunately for students in the School of Architecture we have many resources to turn to.
Networking is a major influence in your future career, if you know the right people you will have no problem finding a position. The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and Habitat for Humanity are just a few opportunities available to students to start developing a network of connections and gain valuable information about their future career. Another resources that we have here at the School of Architecture is Norm Lach, he has many connections all over the country. If you are more withdrawn and hesitant, don’t let fear hold you back. The worst thing you can do is allow fear to hold you back from your true potential. Get to know your professors and develop a relationship with them. Also, your fellow classmates can aid you. If you are stuck in a rut on a project or so overwhelmed and have no idea what you should do next, throw your ideas at them, they will provide you with ideas you may never have considered before.
Southern Illinois has so much to offer to the students of SIU, the School of Architecture will provide you with quality education and connections for future opportunities. The area itself is beautiful, you are surrounded by natural parks and many recreational opportunities if you need an escape from class. When you are considering options for your future endeavors, think about what you want to surround yourself in. For those of you choosing where to attend graduate school, remember to make sure you are going to be happy and that you can get the most out of your experience.