Architecture is a one-way ticket to the giant wheel. Being nice and modest about it would be a crime against every architectural survivor out there. But once you are in a loop, you grow to love every high and low that follows.  

The first day when I entered the marked enclosed territory, I didn’t know what was to come. I cleaned and organized my hostel room unknown to the fact that—it’s not going to look the same in the next coming days was a big wound to my OCD personality. Either way, the race began. The first day of Orientation set us in an eased mode. 

Gradually we began to know the real façade. Unreachable deadlines and multiplying heaps of assignments made us proud insomniacs. The unending rounds of juries, criticisms, and torn sheets made us into shivering and sweating face of pessimism. Eventually, an unashamed laugh after embarrassment was our fighter face.

Yet, disproving every eight-fold rule of water and sleep, we became the tough kids the world ever knew (in our minds). But as we entered the real war-zone, the competitions, the endurance that was known to us turned to a mere speck of a real one.  

From scanning every TERI book to cramming every Vastu word, we reached the level of trying. The entire universe was the syllabus. The Fibonacci ratio made more sense than Permutation and Combination. I understood the meaning of air (ventilation) and light (lux). 

Egyptians and Romans were more familiar to me than my roommate. 

Pulling all-nighters meant a fun-productive period where we did 80 percent of work. We worked till our minds shut down. Tea and coffee was the battery we ran on.” Chai- chai-chai….” was our snoozing alarm. Sleeping was a luxury we couldn’t afford. The day we earned it, was deeply relished with hours.

Cold Sweats to Shrugged Shoulders-Sheet1
Schedule of an architectural student_©

The unsuccessful struggle of bringing models to college unscathed was an everyday embarrassment. I protected them like my own child. Yet, breezes never cooperated. I always ended up with a roofless, windowless, or doorless building. And the juries never took pity. I had to learn a new language—Graphics. Apparently, words weren’t meaningful and explanatory enough. 

To a mundane person: it would look like all hard work and sincerity, and yet it was fun for us. We looked nothing like usual college folks. We looked like a wounded warrior ready to wield a sword, also known as a parallel bar. Disarrayed hair bun, an oversized bag on the back, and in the hands, We looked like the walking stationery. 

An artist may carry two to three pencils. We had the entire range of H, HB, and B Apsara pencils. Our pens had decimal values of thickness. People saved money for buying clothes and lavish birthday parties. We saved for alcohol-based brush pens, black and white charcoal pencils, and a wide range of cartridge sheets.

Cold Sweats to Shrugged Shoulders-Sheet2
The difference between regular and architectural student_© madamenuit

The real pastime was in learning from seniors and then relentlessly pestering them for more. As if the world outside architecture was like another planet. I looked at buildings rather than at the road ahead. I looked at the veins on the leaf rather than the dew on the flower. The crumpled paper was more than trash now. 

Sketches weren’t just pencil strokes and art but a narrative or a storyline. The old ruins looked like thriving lives. Even a tiny ant or randomly placed two cubes was a concept. We learned for another person’s comfort and emotions. We become the dreamer that brought dreams to earth. 

Eventually, college studios were over and we ended up under professionals who questioned our knowledge and made us realize what is in the world. An internship wasn’t the training for field practice. It was to bring us back to the world we left years back and reunite both worlds:  former and later.

As the years passed, we realized architecture wasn’t just about buildings. It dealt with lives. How a small intervention changes the entire community, ideology, and brings sustainability. How it helps run an area smoothly. How even an inch makes a difference in one’s comfort. How we can contribute to earth and its biodiversity. Architecture is just not a subject or a field. It’s a choice in a lifestyle.

An architecture student goes through an enormous transformation starting from lifestyle to opinions. Assignments and juries that once were nightmares later turned to healthy learning sessions. All because we learned to learn 24/7. We are a community of people who truly accept the fact that learning never ends. We walk in groups, and everyone ends up with a different perspective, yet nobody is against it.

Architecture is not a piece of cake. One has to grow and live it to love its taste. One has to be or turn to be a different person. A person above all reasons, limits, and time. One has to be ready to learn and explore by himself, for only then we realize our real identity.



An aspiring architect who thinks every design has a reaction. Be it whatever, your pencil should not stop ever. She believes world without art is no right world, like it's all a ruined confetti. She believes every design has to be handled by heart rather than just mind.