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Accepted at GSD, but not excited about it :/

Mar 16 '13 24 Last Comment
haptic-urbanism
Mar 16, 13 10:16 am

IN: GSD (27k), Penn(5k), UVA(3k), Parsons(8k)
OUT: Princeton, GSAPP

Princeton and GSAPP were my dream schools, mostly because my focus is on NYC urbanism and because I want to stay in the city. I'm really disappointed and I'm even considering taking the year to intern and reapply.
I'm not so excited about GSD or living in Cambridge for the next three years. 27k is a lot of money but with the added expense of relocating I'm not sure if it's even that good.

Am I crazy for wanting to go to Parsons, where I can live at home and inevitably would accrue no more debt than I would at Harvard? The program at Parsons really treats the city as a laboratory, and their design-build workshop seems amazing and is totally nonexistent pretty much everywhere else. That being said, it's a relatively new program and so there aren't many established alumni out there.
The only other place I'm drawn to is UVA because of its social and cultural focus. It's a small program and just as prestigious as GSD in my mind. But it's in the middle of nowhere.

 

I don't know what it is about Harvard that doesn't click with me. It feels sort of generic. Am I wrong? Anyone definitely accepting their GSD offer and care to offer their reasons for going?

 

mtt9999
Mar 16, 13 1:31 pm
backbay
Mar 16, 13 2:46 pm

wahhhhhhh i got accepted to harvard but i'm not happyyyyy

e.m.g.
Mar 16, 13 4:36 pm

I just recently published a post about the same kind of thoughts. Ironic that for me, I didn't get accepted to the GSD but rather GSAPP and I'm feeling the same dobuts. We should trade places! haha..

Though my hesitation was mainly due to the ROI and what I really want out of a program, it sounds like you have already made your mind up about Parsons but are somehow holding onto the stigma of the name of a school like GSD..or pressured by some kind of understanding we have about "Harvard is Harvard" to be indebted to the idea of it rather than the reality of it's truly a good fit for you or not. So many people I don't think realize or take the time to figure that out for themselves.

I say, go with where YOU are going to be comfortable. Sounds like you already have the answer :) Good luck!

sameolddoctor
Mar 16, 13 6:03 pm

Poverty sucks.

LITS4FormZ
Mar 16, 13 7:51 pm

This can't be real

paintitblack
Mar 16, 13 8:28 pm

Deleted, posted in the wrong thread

starrchitect
Mar 16, 13 8:30 pm

The o.p. is just looking to brag. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

citizen
Mar 16, 13 8:35 pm

Can we put this poster in with all those aching for, but rejected from, GSD, for a cage match to the death?

paintitblack
Mar 16, 13 8:43 pm

OP, it's a good problem to have.

 

May I ask how you heard from Parsons? Was it online, or via mail? All I heard from them was that they would be "mailing out decision letters the week of March 15th".  

Janosh
Mar 16, 13 9:09 pm

The OP should be congratulated for recognizing that even admission to a well regarded school is something that should be carefully considered - the three years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars that will be spent are a big deal.  Kudos for listening to your heart and not the herd.

locationdesign
Mar 16, 13 11:02 pm

Honestly graduate school is what you make of it. It's not like undergrad. You have some background going in this time and should expect to self-educate yourself most of the way. Schools do matter but you can get a great education elsewhere. Responding to your money comments you're already considering some of the most expensive architecture schools in the country. I got a kickass masters degree from the single cheapest graduate program that I know of, at the state university of New York in Buffalo. There are many excellent, more cost effective schools out there. Remember you're going to be a young architect after you graduate and unless you are independently wealthy you're not going to make tons of money to help pay back the gsd and the city of Cambridge. That said Boston is an amazing town. Good luck in your search and decision process.

locationdesign
Mar 16, 13 11:04 pm

Honestly graduate school is what you make of it. It's not like undergrad. You have some background going in this time and should expect to self-educate yourself most of the way. Schools do matter but you can get a great education elsewhere. Responding to your money comments you're already considering some of the most expensive architecture schools in the country. I got a kickass masters degree from the single cheapest graduate program that I know of, at the state university of New York in Buffalo. There are many excellent, more cost effective schools out there. Remember you're going to be a young architect after you graduate and unless you are independently wealthy you're not going to make tons of money to help pay back the gsd and the city of Cambridge. That said Boston is an amazing town. Good luck in your search and decision process.

haptic-urbanism
Mar 16, 13 11:13 pm

Thanks for your comments locationdesign, Janosh, e.m.g.

As for everyone else: I'm serious, and I'm really agonizing over this. 

Parsons: Has design/build workshop in second year- a real built project that contributes to the city in a meaningful way.  Housing studio in second semester of first year engages with neighborhoods and social issues in New York. 2012 was in the South Bronx and this year's is a site by the Brooklyn Bridge. The M.Arch class is 23 or so students. 

Harvard: Core studios seem pretty bland, but options are amazing and theoretical and diverse and taught by really esteemed faculty. I'd love to take some landscape classes. What's missing from this program for me is a real consideration of the urban context- and not just from a theoretical standpoint. I haven't found a studio yet that goes in to Boston at all. Maybe The GSD seems diverse- which means I'll have a lot of options academically but that's also kind of intimidating and coming from a small liberal arts college I'm not sure that it's the right environment for me. 

I definitely need to do more research on the GSD and will be going to the Open House on April 5. What I really want to hear is why people are choosing to go to Harvard and what their professional goals are. I don't really envision myself as an "Architect" and I don't want my peers to be a group of people who dream of designing the next big skyscraper. (I realize that this is a total generalization). 

batman
Mar 17, 13 5:04 am

why do you wanna go to GSAPP?

and how does princeton even fit into your interest? 

and here i thought everyone gets accepted to GSAPP, but i guess not. I guess what people say is true - you'll get into the programs that fits you best.

haptic-urbanism
Mar 17, 13 12:19 pm

I guess it's more of a geographic concern. I had a pretty bad time during GSAPPs intro to arch program. My reason for Princeton is obviously financial but I also like alot of their faculty and the academic side of things. I like their reputation for producing independent thinkers who aren't exactly going off to work for big firms. I that's Harvard's reputation, it's not the kind of training I want.
I'm mostly in this for the academic life of studio. I know it's what I love and I can envision myself teaching in the future.

citizen
Mar 17, 13 12:32 pm

With apologies for my initial, snarky response...  Congratulations on getting accepted, Haptic.  This is indeed a "Cadillac problem" that many will envy.  Still, it is a big decision with consequences.  Good luck, regardless of your choice.

batman
Mar 17, 13 4:49 pm

ill trade you places. i have a spot and i think if you talk to cohen he wouldn;t mind i bet. 

archinet
Mar 17, 13 5:27 pm

haptic

   Your observations about the GSD are similar to mine. It seems to be a generic type of school. I think there are better places to get an education. To me it seems it is not so much a place to get a proper education but more of a club.

That being said GSD grads seem to go anywhere they want. They tend to have a far easier chance at landing any sweet job (teaching or practicing). Super annoying. 

sahar
Mar 18, 13 1:34 am

Are you applying to MArch programs? I am asking, because I am a GSAPP graduate from the MArch program, and I felt like the school did not focus at all on NYC urbanism." Very few of our projects were sited in NYC, and site research was not emphasized as an important part of a project.

My undergraduate was quite the opposite. Site research and urban analysis were emphasized. The bulk of our projects were sited in the city our school was in. I took the skills I used there and applied them to projects NYC without any issues. A school that emphasizes site research and urban analysis seems to be what you are looking for even if it is not located in NYC. I am not saying this to insult GSAPP. I received a great education there. But I think a school being in NYC and a school focused on NYC urbanism are two different things.

From your description, Parsons seems like a better fit for you. Some of the other schools might be even better fits after you weigh everything (cost, interests, etc).

I think you could get involved with UTAP at GSAPP, but you would have to seek that involvement out independently. I think it is geared more for the urban planning (UP) and urban design (UD) programs.

Maybe I am reading too much into "NYC urbanism." You just might mean you want to be in NYC. My experience is that you spend almost all of your time working in architecture schools so the city you are in doesn't matter as much. You definitely want to be in a city, so you can have access to certain cultural resources. Beyond that, what city you are in is not as important. It was kind of sad being in NYC for me, because I was so busy that I really couldn't participate in that many things happening in the city outside of school.

DaveZ
Mar 18, 13 1:41 am

gsd  and all arch schools are a total waste of money, good luck when your 180k in debt, dnt know shit about how to erect a building and cant get a job for more than 35k a year. arch school is a giant scam, go work for a GC for 3 years, you ll be better off.

batman
Mar 18, 13 3:33 am

GC..as in general contractor right

med.
Mar 18, 13 11:04 am

Would you like me to start playing you a violin?

toasteroven
Mar 18, 13 11:46 am

I know a couple people who didn't go there because of cost - you're not alone.

jesusmaldonado
Mar 20, 13 3:25 pm

hey haptic, you should really check out this blog. lian is a good writer and there is SO much. im sure this'll make you change your mind :D

http://archinect.com/lian

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