So.. I've fought with figuring out the best way to frame this and talk about why I quit the master of Landscape Architecture program. A lot of that came from deciding how to use a tone people could relate to and the rest came from being as transparent as possible in my decision. At times I felt like I was letting myself down, letting other (future) Black landscape architects/development/design professionals down, and letting down this space for not sticking it out in a field that is just as blatantly segregated as urban planning.
I finally sat down and combined all my thoughts about my experience in the MLA program at UT-Arlington. After rewriting this post too many times to count and starting/stopping on it I followed my first mind and just made a video out of it. I was a little self conscious about making this in lieu of it sounding like a "bitch session" and possibly being perceived as lazy or uncommitted to the program but... fuck it. I knew the program wasn't for me and I'm happy as hell I quit when I did because it opened up so many doors for me. And gave me TIME back to be apart of the things that really touch my soul. Please don't forget how important/valuable YOUR TIME is! I was lacking on that this year but next year, nah. I'm getting bread for every minute I spend using my skills, efforts, and experiences in any medium.
I say all that not to knock aspiring landscape architects, especially Black students, but more so stating it to say some battles aren't worth sacrificing your happiness, mental stability, or personal life for. I hope this post and video reaches somebody that needs it to keep going or needs it to let them know it's okay to quit, redirect the course, and find other ways to get from point A to point B. Also to tell them, the work isn't only your responsibility - choose YOU no matter what. And as a call to action to academia teaching graduate/undergrad programs dealing with the built environment. Shake that shit up for the better.
You can watch the video on my ig - @thedee_p and let me know what you think there, in the comments here, on Twitter, or wherever. I'm really interested to know the way y'all perceive urban design, urban planning, landscape architecture/architecture programs at the undergrad and graduate levels.
As always, it's LOVE for this space and the way it allows me to be vulnerable. I might hop on IG to engage a bit more about this one. If you're a student in any of the fields listed above and going through it or just need a lil' encouragement don't ever hesitate to reach out!! If I can't help I can definitely connect you with someone who can!
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