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Inside the mind of an architecture student

Five years of a learning experience

The mind of an architecture student is indeed a cauldron filled with fretting emotions, art, thought-provoking ideas, stories, and myriad experiences. Five years spent in an architecture school are nothing less than a roller-coaster that persuades you to find hidden values and varying purposes. But like everything, architecture has its pros and cons. This profession provides you with the satisfaction to design someone’s dream but also presents you with some of the most anxious and difficult times of your lives. The turbulent ride brings an evolution in the way one perceives their environment; a blend of exhilaration, patience, and hard work, wouldn’t you agree?

First Year

The first year in an architecture school can be scary and yet, inspiring. It is like an overwhelming stir; a new place with new appearances and interactions along with enthusiasm to explore, divulge and take the first steps towards becoming a creator. Travelling, sketching, researching, writing –you do it all. One discovers the world of designing studios, which have a characteristic of their own and learn everything from composing a line in space to understanding the constituents of a brick. The first year is about the liberty to be one’s creative selves and making friendships for a lifetime! 

Second Year

With the commencement of the second year begins the expectations of less conjectural designs, driving students towards an endless cycle of pulling all-nighters. Some start acquiring software skills from varying sources, some try to perfect their expertise over hand-drafting, and some throw themselves into absorbing architectural history. The juries seem harsh because no juror resonates with your concepts and redoes become every student’s companion. 
By the end of the second year, everyone understands the art of receiving criticism with a smile, constructive dialogue, gaining perseverance, and of course-the prominence of an 8-hour sleep.

Third Year

With a new year, comes tenacious responsibilities, and insights towards technicalities in architecture. The silver lining amongst these is the happiness to choose fascinating electives, honing experiences at NASA and that one mandatory educational trip. This year changes one’s perception in infinite ways because one acquires knowledge of subjects like vernacular, sustainability, services – all of which shape your design approach. Some individuals develop an urge, a hunger of innovation in their designs, and some tend to shift their focus onto domains related/unrelated to architecture. 
The end of this year gets stimulating because of the next big question –how to create an outstanding portfolio and going to internships in renowned firms? 

Fourth Year

With ever-increasing pressure and prospects, the fourth-year welcomes “almost architects.” Everyone works day and night, to complete submissions, create that perfect portfolio, and get an internship with the architect who is probably an idol. Everyone waits to thrive, live the office life and explore everything about the new place. Amongst other things, this year teaches you to manage your time graciously, and market your design and communication skills. One has the opportunity to comprehend the working of firms, the mindset of a client, networking skills, and how all things are peculiar and competitive in the architectural market. 
Towards the end of this year, students have lived the time of their lives, but architecture school has one last trick up its sleeve. 

Fifth Year

The last step towards getting your degrees, all your hard work and sleepless nights almost paid off – time to bring all your knowledge and conversance together to work twice as hard because the fifth-year is the year for dissertation and thesis. From deciding a topic for the monograph to selecting a site, surveying, conducting interviews, travelling for case-studies, and ultimately, designing with scrupulous details– everything feels rushed and yet eclectic because this is the last time you do it as a student. 
This year brings all the nostalgia of the last four years – you work harder, fulfill your responsibilities as the senior-most batch, and enjoy a little more of your time with your friends. Everyone gets ready for a one-last final jury, and whether fully prepared or not, the architectural world becomes your oyster. 

Decisions, Mistakes & Regrets

Being an architecture student is not easy; one has to understand and apply multiple prospects while designing and bring originality to the table. All the mistakes that we make during these five years are imperative for our progress because every decision helps us become who we are. Perhaps, at the end of 5 years, you have an enabling attitude, with an ever-lasting realism that may help you to solve an exceptional urbanization dilemma or to create new sustainability theories. You may want to start your firm or explore new realms of architecture through travelling, photography, or writing. 
Towards the end, the conviction to follow your lessons is what leads you to success. 

It’s Never too late

You become your best selves when you have the heart to follow your passion because why carry the regret to not attending to it in the first place? Everything in the world is hard until you work for it, and so is the case with architecture.
Learning about it is nothing less than a gift, in a sense, an amalgamation of poetry and experiences of a human, woven with the knowledge of spatial requirements. Imagining spaces is not solely a matter of visual projections; it is a process of embodiment, identification, and feeling the entity as an imaginary extension. So, to all the students and graduates, envision what you are best at, examine ideas and give yourself the chance to learn today.

Ansha Kohli

Ansha Kohli

Buildings and their surrounding environments have always provided thought-provoking stories, that eventually lead me to know, write and study architecture. Graduated recently, I wish to pursue a career that helps me share vision and narratives related to architecture, with the tool I fathom best, i.e., writing. I feel there is an undying need to know the world of art and architecture with a perspective that helps enhance ideas and brews articulate discussions around the globe. Building with words has led me to understand the true meaning and significance of architecture and its representation in our daily lives because of which I yearn to become a storyteller that makes people aware of the calibre and precedence that architecture carries.