Mark Twain had once said, “Some people get an education without going to college. The rest get it after they get out.” Here Mark Twain questions what we do in college. Do we study? Do we just have fun? Do we all seek knowledge of utopia or do we all just aim at euphoria?

All colleges are different. Some teach you hardcore sciences while some teach you extremities of the human body, some teach you the value of money while some teach you the value of love and friendship but one thing that is common is that they clear your perspective on what you want to do for the next few fleeting moments of your life. This state might not last as the human mind has a tendency to overthink, get confused, and be ambitious. We all agree that change in life is inevitable, but college is one milestone in our lives which helps us get a direction, good or bad that is debatable. 

On that note, how would you describe an ideal college as? A place where getting wasted isn’t illegal? Or a place where u can do what u want without the fear of failure? Or a place where work is played so you don’t have to study a single day in your life? As a student, I think all of this is true. To put things more in perspective now, an architectural college is a perfect mix of all of those. 

Architectural college is a five-year-long rollercoaster ride. It starts slow and fun, gets really scary in the middle, and ends with a blockbuster finale! At every point of time, you want to get out but you are so happily overwhelmed by being on the ride that you won’t be able to leave. Architectural college doesn’t just make people capable of designing, they make individuals who think, question the various systems of the world. They can make individuals have a working knowledge of the model of the universe if they want to (students don’t, but they can if they want to). Yes, that’s how transformational Architectural colleges can be.

Architects are correctly called Jack of all trades but masters of none. In college, we get the education of various fields clubbed and squeezed as a five-year course. We study humanities, history, psychology, physics, art, designing, presentation, fieldwork, finance, law, computer science, ethical/unethical hacking, beg/borrow/steal, bargaining, and yes life hacks. Architecture is what I believe—Salt of life. It’s everywhere; you may or may not notice its presence but its absence makes you cringe. Therefore, we architects are given a slight taste of all possible fields so as to understand the Vitesse of human evolution. 

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Teamwork_©www.architectureartdesigns.com

However, architectural colleges don’t just give you academic knowledge, most importantly they teach you the importance of group work. As an individual who had always worked and studied alone, I was not very accommodating. However during my four years in college what I have unforgettably learned is how easy and motivating group work is. The curriculum of architecture is designed in a way that it shows that no individual can survive alone. We need our seniors to guide us, we need our classmates to work with us in unison to complete a project, we need our teachers not just to teach but to help us grow as humans and we need our juniors to help us. Only together—can we survive college, just like only as a community we can live. 

Architecture as a course demands dedication. It demands your time and devotion and it demands sincerity. We are put through the extreme workload, constant deadlines, submissions, redoes, excessive reading architectural as well as non-architectural but it is worth every effort you put in it. The feeling I get after Architectural design submission or the euphoria I feel after a successful jury is incomparable to any other form of happiness. There is a sense of pride in it, a joy of creation, a sense of satisfaction. 

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Professionals reviewing the upcoming project_ ©ALTEK Engineering

Another very important thing I learned in college is that understanding humans is very important to live a happy life. We don’t design for ourselves, we design for others. It is essential for us to take a step back and let others have a central stage in the design. Successful architecture cannot be created if the architect is stubborn and does not fulfill the needs of the client. This more or less taught me selflessness. If the architect can’t stop thinking about themselves, they cannot create a design that will one day shape the world. 

So, now I would like to conclude by saying that I learned innumerable things in architectural college, too many to cover in this short article but most importantly, I learned that I can be as important to the society as I want to be. I cannot work alone and not asking for help is a taboo that we need to break. Moreover, that architecture is one profession where I can help in shaping the world and if done correctly, this shape will live beyond me.

Author

Anaushka Goyal is a undergraduate student studying architecture in Mumbai. She likes research and experimentation with sustainable architectural practices that could benefit the environment. She is a critical thinker andis committed to address the problems in our society through her work. She is currently exploring her aptitude for architectural journalism.