Strolling wistfully, the turns of an alluring journey’s reminiscence, revived the long-forgotten freshmen motivation and energy with which I had joined architecture, perplexed, a journey embarked by many because they aced drawing. After the fun orientation, the mere thought of filling pages with straight lines and practicing the alphabet as in kindergarten had bewildered us. Seniors showered their astounding love by giving us the later year works to rehearse our newly acquired skills, while they drowsed into a sleep of puffed nicotine. Complying with their sleepy reasoning, it later convinced me that the toilet seat spewed more ideas in the brain than abroad.

The wavering expedition to summit B.arch - Sheet1
Life at Architecture College_©Royal College of Art

My lifestyle had raced ahead of what people designated as sane. Enjoying my sound sleep, more on the drafting table than my bed, I watched it suffocate under piles of rolled sheets, unironed clothes, and dirty coffee mugs. Though I surfed Pinterest, stalked people’s work, searched “inspiration” for design, I ended up occasionally, glass tracing the sheets, as the librarian watched in anguished disgust, waving off my unknown face, from my share of the library books. Although I confounded the library for its inflexible timings, the scotch tape was cursed more, as it successfully ruined the corners of a neatly drafted sheet, decoupling from its heartiest friend, the drafting board. 

The wavering expedition to summit B.arch - Sheet2
Showcasing Artistic Skills_©Pinterest

This drafting board had witnessed a transition of regretful sadness by individual REDO, change to mass exchanged crocodile tears, partly cursing the system, on accomplishing the title of a class redo. This board amused itself, seeing financially stable students, steal erasers, cutters, and triangular scales from fellow peers. This drafting board served as the solitary accompanist to all-nighters pulled, along with the peer group, working while chit-chatting, or all by oneself, with chips, coffee, and the thought of “Why architecture?”. This board chuckled at my fate. It saw me lower my face in fake humiliation as the third-year faculty criticized the former ones, moaning at our block models, stamping us as fail drafters, incapable of behaving professionally. But, it never weighed down our class unity, with the exceptions of the wise-crackers who were abandoners, when it came to class bunks and insensitive as hell when it came to postponing submissions. This board had seen me weep as the software came crashing down, dreading the professor, just like I did, and choosing not to present itself affront the professor. But, I still had to drag my feet to the college, because a compulsion wand had waved itself as 75% attendance.

As this fiasco ballooned, fuelled by our rouge mind computing the permissible consecutive bunks and embraced punishments, the sane side of the brain, routined to regular attendance, dead in the first year itself, strangled in the farthest niche, unnoticed. But, study tours awarded comfort to this discord. Study tours, where we had fun, we enjoyed group activities, we worked enthusiastically, and we exemplified unity. Study tours where local people eyed us with clear suspicion as we measured and photographed their houses, their facade treatments, and marked their way of living. We questioned them in broken language, with half of them answering politely, while the rest blew up with rage, ready to fire bullets of impatient curses or bang with whatever was handy. We roamed the streets, enjoyed local street food, and went shopping, much to the faculty’s dismay, who regularly reminded us that the sole purpose of the tour was to study. This fun learning, gloomily, culminated in a presentation jury, back in college.

Presentation juries, where the impromptu prints had refused to surface out in the same colours as they appeared on-screen, the north symbol had escaped the sheet, and the massing model seemed worse than the foam brick storeroom. Students, devoid of thought, formed concepts just before the jury commenced. These made-up concepts were put forth with the highest assurance and a belief that the jury panel in front agreed to and appreciated the same, a daydream which vanished every time in thin air. Regardless of the same, as the jury concluded, the classroom transfigured to a bedroom, with students dozing off, peacefully, on the faculty table, with bed sheets and blankets of the now useless A0 prints.

Architecture Portolio_©Wix

In the 5 years of architectural life, I had mastered the arts of balancing huge overloads on my way to college, being less tensed on the number of uncleared subjects, gladly accepting the second chance. I rapidly redesigned the whole portfolio again because the internal revised the design at the breaking point. I had aced my previous records for the continuous lack of work as I proudly gave fake excuses and declared “No Work” even when the submission dates were delayed. I loved how architecture had imprinted the virtue of thinking about others more than oneself. I thought more about the stationery bills and often wondered if I could trade my kidney to make up for the cost, more than I thought about my eyes, and my physical well being. As a female, architecture laid the responsibility from protecting me from this atrocious world as I always carried weapons of mass destruction viz. compass, set squares, and the dear cutter with me. But, still, there were some disordered skills like the way my files were named, from pre final, final, final print to final confirmed print. The one big ridiculous internship email, which I wrote rather unprofessionally, or copied the standard from the college, convincing the office of sheer disappointment with long unnecessary portfolio works and talks, truly exemplified this. The aspiration for the best office in the city had already masked itself into a request for a job for anyone willing to hire. But it all concluded to a happy ending, a satisfying thesis, and the long interval for the reward of the architecture degrees, being the final batch of 2020.

In a nutshell,

“Architecture changed the night to the day, giving me health and deadline worries,

Architecture changed my perspective, my friends for family, and showered endless cheerful frustrating memories.”


An architecture student by profession, a curious empath by choice, Ruchika’s perceptive hearing has always unfolded the esoteric and stupendous tales of folklore and tradition in architecture. With a piercing interest in art, history and architecture, she holds strong to her poetic conclusions whilst analyzing human perception of the same.