Hi all, I am having serious doubts on my career right now.
I started studying architecture at 23 and graduated at 27 as a Part I from a minor southern european school plagued by philistinism. Then I applied to a top MA in history and theory in the UK for a number of reasons: 1) virtually no one I knew in the field had a job in my country 2) I did not enjoy the uncritical approach to design in my undergrad school / felt like I did not know the 'thinking' behind design / felt like I was merely copying starchitecture and/or merely executing my tutors' suggestions without understanding why 3) I wanted to read and get a liberal education in an intellectually stimulating environment 4) did not fancy the idea of becoming a computer monkey and being paid peanuts for it / tought I was smarter than that.
However, I got accepted - quite a miracle, given the prestige of the school - and after two years graduated with distinction. I have worked insane hours to achieve that, and eventually even published on a couple of reputable journals, a rare thing for a MA graduate.
After graduating I have kept reading and researching voraciously while working in fields unrelated to architecture, just to make ends meet in a big, northern european city. Then out of rational calculation ('I did well in the MA, I will do well in a PhD') and out of a lack of options (I am just a Part 1 and after 3 years of reading and researching my cad/adobe suite skills are now laughable = I am unemployable outside academia), I applied to the very top H&T programs on both sides of the atlantic, and chances are that I will be offered a place in 2-3 of them, with full funding.
Yet, throughout the past month I have been assailed by serious doubts about this doctoral option. I have pretty much solved all the issues I had as an undergrad: 1) where I live now people can actually make a living out of architecture, just a living, but that is fine 2) design studios and the specialised press here spur actual criticism 3) I am a much more cultured man now, and enjoy developing my cultural capital 4) I would like to pick up again digital drafting (I have always been a good designer) and put my theoretical/historical knowledge into practical use in a boutique firm (I don't mind starting as an intern) PLUS 5) I don't want to spend 5-7 years (basically my 30s) in an American grad school.
I am torn, for at the same time I would like to keep publishing, and get into teaching history and theory, but I know that in my case the situation is either/or: academia OR practice.
I've got to sort this out quick because these schools will soon get back to me. And the last thing I want to do is accepting an offer only to turn it down later because I have freaked out. I want to be honest with the admissions committees and my recommenders, whom I highly regard and who vouched for me. I really don't want to piss anyone off because I am undecided.
I feel that I will be part of the research community one day, but I would like to explore the world of architectural practice in a dynamic city first.
Post PhD Application Anxiety Watch
- Thread Starter
- 21-01-2015 14:49