Monday, September 23, 2013

Hanging On

By Ryan Kinports

There is a great deal of pressure in the SoA on your time. When I transferred in last summer I was spending upwards of 14 hours a day in Quigley. I thought this demand on my time might be alleviated once the fall semester began but there was little change to this pattern. One of the few routines I could establish was going to Walgreens at 4:00 AM for cereal to eat before class began again in a few hours. Over time I learned to deal with the inconsistent lifestyle while many of my peers continued to struggle. Sleep deprivation took its toll. One oddity I discovered is the negative correlation between time awake working and the ability to complete work for every class on time.  Eventually I learned that the initially sensible idea of staying up for days at a time to maximize work time overlooks the drop in productivity and quality that accompanies it. You will end up spending a great deal of time in Quigley and the Blue Barracks, but you must find time to sleep. That first summer there were many times I or a peer slept on a desk or pile of cardboard which, while uncomfortable, was better than nothing.
One particularly dangerous way to deal with the constant time demands is to neglect one class to work on another’s. You might think that “it’s only one class period” or “I understand this so it’s a waste of time” but it can quickly develop into a habit. Most of my peers and I are guilty of this at one time or another. Many of the professors in our program understand this problem, however that does not mean you should take advantage of their leniency. They know that in the long run it will only hurt you.
There will be times that you think you should change your major. From observation this is usually the result of a bad experience with a single class rather than the result of a prolonged struggle with Architectural concepts. You may be told by a faculty member that it would be best to change your major. What you need to remember is that no single class should decide your career path, the advice of your mentors should be welcomed, and you must evaluate your own progress from an objective position. It may be that you are in the wrong major. It may also be that you tried to apply academic expectations of a less demanding field to your own expectations and have yet to realize Architecture is a different animal. This major will encompass the vast majority of your time. The particular day of the week starts to lose meaning as weekends are spent in studio like any other weekday. You’ll know you’re in the correct major for you when you realize you’re in studio working on a Saturday night and you don’t mind - you might even be enjoying what you’re working on.

Get out once and a while though.

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