Architecture to me is designing buildings. That is what I thought when I decided as a senior in high school to pursue a degree in architecture. That is what it meant to me when I graduated from college and that is still what it means to me after having my own firm for 27 years.
As much as I have defined architecture for myself, my wonderful, frustrating, and enlightening education helped me see it was so much more. Architects are spatial organizers. We create environments which affect how people feel and interact. Architecture is a design process, we just design environments, be they buildings, enclosures, or exterior spaces.
The most wonderful thing about architecture is even if you consider yourself to be conservative like I do, it gives you the ability to see, think, and accept things, people, and concepts that you do not personally agree with because you have been taught to think outside the box. You understand that all things are not either right or wrong. A lot of life's decisions are just opinions and conclusions.
There are few definitive things in architecture, but there is an abundance of gray areas. We evaluate and process the information and based upon our knowledge and understanding of the subject matter we make what we think are the best decisions on how to address the issues at hand. Learning how to evaluate and analyze are two of the biggest assets we take from college. It is sort of like my half year of typing I took in the eight grade. I have no idea how valuable that would be down the road when the personal computers became a "thing". It wasn't until years after I got out of college did I realize just what they had taught me in Cowgill Hall (my school of architecture)
It is a fabulous profession. It is diverse, so many people can take many different career tracks. I look forward to working everyday, even when it is a struggle. It is a fun profession and God willin' I'll still be doing this when I am 90. I just won't draw as many buildings or be drawing them as fast.