Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Teach Yourself to Better Yourself

By Ethan Brammeier

In these first four weeks of school, I’ve had the privilege of working in the school of architecture’s printing lab.  I have the opportunity to see the undergraduates work and it brings me back to all the stress I went through for those classes.

Part of my job is to assist the other students with issues they experience with software or other homework.  What I’ve noticed with some students is that they want the quick, easy fix, and that would mean they would rather have me fix the problem for them instead of figuring it out on their own.  In the school of architecture, time is a huge factor, and sometimes your only option is the quick and easy fix.  I’ll admit when I was an undergrad, I did take the easy way out sometimes and ask somebody else to fix my problems for me.  It didn’t take long for me to realize I was hurting myself. 

To any undergrads in architecture or people wishing to become an architecture major, listen up.  Don’t go your entire life expecting others to do your work for you.  Take the time, if you have any, to learn the skills the major requires.  Nothing negative will come out of knowing too much, and the more you know, the more it will help you through school.  I want to mainly focus on the knowledge of computer programs.  Throughout school I’ve come across more computer programs than I’d like to mention.  The best solution to take is to choose the common programs and learn them well.  If you have time after that, learn the programs you find interesting.  Having the knowledge of multiple programs opens up options of how to tackle a project.  If you don’t broaden your knowledge of multiple programs now, you are never going to take the time to learn them.  Once we become accustomed to something that we are comfortable with, we don’t want to change.  Become comfortable with as much as you can early on and it will only benefit you from that point on.  I know students don’t learn every program out there from taking classes on them.  Half of the computer programs I use today I taught myself.  Have you ever heard of that thing called “YouTube”? Yeah, that’s what I used to learn all the programs that weren’t taught in a classroom.  They offer step by step tutorials of how to use programs.  All you have to do is take the time to sit down and watch.   

The main point I want other students to take away from this is that the knowledge of multiple programs will help with everything the architecture profession has to offer.  Having this knowledge will help you produce better work through school.  When you apply for a job, employers are going to look at your school work and also want to know what programs you know.  If you only know how to use a few programs the chances you get the job are unlikely.  On the other hand, if you’re fluent in a multitude of programs, your chances of getting the job are greater.  Architecture firms use a wide variety of programs and if they have somebody that knows all of them, that person is likely to keep a job.  Having the skill of learning new programs quickly and easily will make you an essential component of this profession now and especially in the future. 

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