The deeper I get into the urban planning profession, the more I feel like I am not good enough to be a planner. (I’m not throwing myself a pity party, so hold on.) I work alongside some great people. People that are amazing artists and can sketch an urban space in less than five minutes because they studied abroad for a month. People that have amazing graphic skills and can render a development in their spare time or for every project they do, whether it’s required of them or not. People that have amazing ideas that will actually become implemented someday and make fantastic cities. I’m not am artist, a designer, or a consultant, and maybe not even a planner at all. I’m just not that “average” planner. I don’t mean to offend anyone who sees themselves as anything I listed above, because I do believe you will make the world a better place with your gifts and I really wish I had those skills. We are all unique in our passions. I am not even close to saying that I picked the wrong major and I need to start over because I believe I have found my passion in city planning at Ohio State. It was what I was meant to do. The way I am meant to be a planner…well, that’s a developing story.
I do know that whatever path I may end up on I would like to BE the change (which I have mentioned before on this blog). I want to make a difference in this world and I believe that within urban planning, I can achieve it. I want to make a difference in urban places. The place where someone lives determines a lot, more than most people probably think. Something as simple as a zip-code determines an child’s future…isn’t that crazy? We have been discussing that idea in my sociology class and it blows my mind. A zip-code is something that should be taken care of by a planner. It is sometimes frightening to think about how much power planners have in the way we can change and impact places, but that is also such an amazing feeling that we have that opportunity to make a difference.
Since I am in my third year of school, it is growing closer to deciding what to do after graduation. Going to grad school was basically the option I had designated for myself until I thought “should I actually go for planning?”. This was something I had never considered before until about a month ago. I just assumed I would go to grad school for what my undergrad degree in because that’s what I knew of my peers. I’m beginning to think I should not go, unless I really figure out my focus in planning. Or if I go to grad school, maybe I study something else like sociology, criminology, or dare I say, law school?
I feel like this semester I am having a quarter-life crisis. I’m not exactly sure of how I put my passions into action after I graduate in a payable way, but I know that I am getting close to it everyday. I have great friends, mentors, counselors, and professors that will help guide me to the direction of pursuing my passions. I also have time to figure that stuff out. I am beginning to think of alternatives to average planning jobs after I graduate if I decide grad school isn’t for me.
I do know that I am good enough to not be your average planner and I will be the change.