College life is perhaps the golden period of a student’s life. The knowledge gained, the opportunities availed, and the friendships made during this time go a long way in determining the future life and career of a young individual. You will often find grown-up people reminiscing the memories of their college days with great pleasure, pride, or regret.

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Architecture is an intensive five-year course. It demands a lot of commitment and is known to be difficult at all levels. Students are warned well in advance about the grueling hours of hard work and sleepless nights. Despite all this, the entire journey turns out to be enlightening and hugely gratifying. Architecture students “live” in the design studio. From spending hours together working on a design, passing out on the drafting boards to pulling all-nighters, the life of an architecture student revolves around submissions and deadlines.

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Life at an architecture school changes every year you are there. In the first year, things start with adjusting yourselves to the lives in studios, they become an essential part of your life. Students work and complete all their assignments there. The initial months are exciting with the introduction to new subjects and activities. As months pass by, the next thing you experience is under-appreciation of your work almost every time. There will always be a professor who rejects your design and labels it impractical, no matter how much effort you put in your hand-drafted sheets. This is when you learn to digest rejection.  But there’s an upside to this. You’ll somehow develop a liking for shopping, just as women go crazy in clothing stores, you’ll go crazy in a stationery store!

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The second and third years seem comfortable after your initial struggles. The studio practically becomes your first home by now, as you spend most of your time here than your actual home. The rigorous hand drafting reduces by now and AutoCAD enters the lives to make things a little less complicated. This is the time to learn new software and experiment with drafting and 3D visualizations. Conceptual ideas start taking shape and creativity sets in. Some students invest their free hours in extra-curricular activities, while others compensate for their all-nighters.

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The fourth-year is when the professors get more serious and expect a lot from you. The workload drastically increases. Although you will have pulled all-nighters before, it is this time that you lose track of days and nights. Coffee becomes your best friend as unrealistic deadlines haunt you. Sketches are replaced by 3D renders. The imagination which would fly to any part of the universe till now gets chained down in plots, by-laws, and building regulations. But these days turn exciting since everyone prepares their profiles for internships. Students emphatically talk about internship opportunities and look forward to getting out in the world and making a mark.

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The internship is a period of the real grind. It is the first time when the knowledge gained over the years is put to the practical aspects of the field. Internships help you meet new people from different places and teach you a lot of things. It shows you a trailer of what is to come after. But up to three-quarters of your time, you will realize that you would want to be in a lecture hall than an office and miss college. On returning from the internship, people are more mature, seasoned, almost architects, who are more professional than a student.

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The final year is for the architectural thesis. The time to pour in everything you learned the last 4.5 years into one project, the dream project for most people. You teeter through your expectations and your guide’s too, juggling between internal reviews and external juries, just making it to the end. With luck, hard work, and your juniors, you come up battered and bruised to finally become an architect.

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The five-year course can often leave you huffing, panting, and wondering why I am here and how is it going to help me ever in my life. Architecture colleges can be hard to get in and harder to finish. But it’s worth the effort because an Architect not only designs buildings but shapes the lives of people related to it.

©business insider

 

Author

Trishla Chadha is driven by a persistent desire to learn and to inform. Besides working as a Junior Architect, she is also associated with an International social organization with the aim of empowering women in our society. She is particularly intrigued by the sensitivity of architecture towards nature and people, as well as discovering new aspects that enrich the spatial experience.