Doesn’t a redo button sound dreamy?
I have had many occasions where I would have used it: that time I decided to eat the entire lemon merengue pie, or that other time I thought a tequila shot contest was a good idea or maybe I wouldn’t have worn so much body glitter in my early 20’s (who am I kidding that still would have happened). The irony of hindsight is that you only learn what you needed to do after the fact. Although I have made some bad decisions, fortunately for me I have few regrets. When I think back to college it seems to me I was not always the best “decision-maker”.
This night owl did not get the early morning worm.
I have always detested mornings. Once college began it got worse. Whose idea was it to have the world’s most boring classes at such an ungodly, early hour?? Ugh… I did my best to never have a class before noon. On the odd occasion I had to take a morning class, I was “that” student who rolled in a minimum of 15 minutes late if the class began before 9am (if I even showed up). Once I even convinced an instructor to start the class 1/2 hour later and he and the class accommodated me. Bizarre, I know! Proving I can be a master of coercion, but may fall a wee bit short when it comes to choosing between my warm cozy bed and the clanging of the alarm clock.
Knowing that I was late quite a bit then, it should come as no surprise that I completely dropped the ball when it came to getting an internship in design school. In my second to last semester of school I was up to my eyeballs in floor plans, programming and 3D models for my thesis. I was caught up in the excitement of my project (a sustainable community) and completely dropped the ball on finding a really good internship for my final semester. I have friends that interviewed and accepted junior positions at prestigious firms like Gensler, HOK and Perkins + Will. While they were interviewing I was laser-focused on my classes and completely forgot about the deadline for internships. The day before the deadline my friend Gloria told me about a job in a showroom at the Merchandise Mart. It was far from my dream job. I was not doing design work, unless you count moving a sofa from one display to another or slapping some paint on the wall. But it was quick and easy and filled all the bullets points I needed. In the end I really enjoyed working in the showroom, but it did not lead me toward a career in design.
My advice to anyone in school, let alone design school, is to put some energy into your internship. It’s the first pin on the map of your career. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not disappointed where my career post-college has gone, maybe things could have happened a bit faster and easier if I would have “put my back into it”. I guess what I am trying to say is there are no “re-do” buttons in life. Try no to sleep through your opportunities… You can sleep when you’re dead.