Is architecture school really that bad?
There seems to be a lot of high school student who follow this blog and ask this question in particular. Maybe some of you are already in university and are thinking of switching into architecture. This post will be for those who are concerned with the difficulties, stress and sleeplessness that come with architecture school.
One thing that is very important about architecture school is that it’s not for everyone. My first day, the architecture department head told us to look to our left and then our right because the people we were sitting next to were probably not going to be there at the end. At first I didn’t believe this, how could half of the freshmen class really not there at the end of the four years? Within the first month and half of the first semester I would say that 20% left. And gradually, even up until now, people are leaving and figuring out that architecture isn’t for them. My class is probably half of what it started with since freshmen year, maybe even less actually.
To be able to handle everything that is thrown in an architecture student’s face, they need to be really passionate and like what they are doing or else they wouldn’t be able to do it. You can’t force yourself to like architecture and design; you have to truly enjoy it.
Architecture school has many pros and cons. I’m pretty sure the main things you hear would be the stress, no sleeping and no social life. I feel like this idea of an architecture student can scare people off and can start diverting them from exploring what they love. Doing what you are passionate about comes with hard work.
First I would like to talk about the cons, because the pros should make up for them in the end.
- Overwhelming Workload –You always have work to do, whether it is for studio, an elective or history. Every class is demanding. There will always be something due for every studio class. Other classes can vary according to the class structure. But it’s always something: drawings, models, a paper, studying for a test or assignments.
- Too Much Stress – Keeping up with your workload can put a lot of stress on you. But it’s not just the stress of the amount of work, but the stress of your design too. Studio would have to be one of the most stressful part of your semester because this is where you are designing and trust me, it doesn’t go easily at times. The stresses of designing, coming up with a concept, building and drawing and of course the deadlines.
- No Social Life – This I feel like you should have control over. A lot of people complain and talk about how they have no social life and they are too busy with schoolwork. This I feel is true at times, but mostly during crunch time. Yes with the amount of workload we get, it feels like we will never have time for friends, but taking an hour or two for yourself to relax is always recommended because you start to overwhelm yourself with work. So yeah, there’s times we have to say no and do work instead, but that’s not always the case.
- Sleepless Nights – Whether is be that you procrastinated and waited too long and you have to stay up a finish it; it’s all about time management. The only explanation would be that we tend to procrastinate a lot and I highly recommend not to, but you know how that goes. It’s not just the fact that we procrastinate, but it is also because of the amount of work we get. I would have to say though, that sleepless night is probably like 50% because of procrastination. It also is about producing great quality work, great work takes great time. We strive for perfection and that takes time, time we could be sleeping. I’ve taken almost 2 hours just to render one perspective!
- Spending Too Much Money – Unless you are rich then you should be fine, but for the rest of us we spend so much money on materials! When it feels like you were just at the supply store, you’re there again buying more of the stuff you thought you had enough of. I would start saving now if I were you.
- Wanting To Quit – Every one of us has wanted to quit one time or another. There are times when things get to be too much and you may feel like you can’t take it anymore. We all hit rock bottom and you just have to get up and try again.
- Being Creative – You get to explore new techniques, ideas and new ways of thinking artistically. It’s awesome to be able to generate a design and to be able to produce amazing work. The work you produce is very rewarding in the end.
- Learning – I don’t know about you but I love learning new things about architecture, I mean we all should! Learning new things about design and architecture is really amazing. Once you can start having architectural discussions with others, you feel very proud of yourself.
- Having Fun – Architecture school is a lot of fun at times. You are doing what you love with people who also feel the same. Throwing studio parties late at night, singing out loud and rocking to music in studio, we play hard and work hard.
- Gaining Respect – When you tell people you are studying architecture you would be surprised at how many compliments you get. You feel good about yourself because people respect you for studying architecture and design.
- Rewarding Moments – Those times when you finally finish your final model and it looks beautiful, finishing a drawing that took you 8 hours to do, or having a good presentation. Moments like these in architecture school are the best. After all the hard work and sweat, the outcome is very rewarding.
- Doing What You Love – We love to design, create, and imagine things so why not do something while you enjoy it? It’s all work but it’s something you love.
(to be continued and edited)
I was never insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.Edgar Allan Poe (via believe-in-bitchcraft)
It was almost Christmas of 2012 and all my six year old nephew wanted was a Chia Pet. I asked him why he wanted one, and he told me he saw a “super cool” commercial of it on TV. I literally just stared at him, but of course, I went and got him a Chia Pet. Christmas day came around and he opened the box, took out the Chia Pet, spread the seeds, and watered it. For the next hour or so, he was staring at the Chia Pet, intently waiting for it to grow almost instantly like how they show it in commercials. He was livid after his mom told him that it actually took like a week for them to grow/even sprout.
For some reason, this memory just came to me and it reminded me of how impatient/whiney we can get when it comes to love and relationships. We see that shit all in movies, TV, and music making it seem almost instant that we can obtain some sort of result or gratification from what we’ve done; but we don’t. We need to be patient and tend to the plant/relationship/chia pet to expect any sort of beautiful bloom.