architecture school regrets

any regrets from your time in architecture school?

desperately trying to "finish-my-project" <- (whatever that meant)

what's yours?

Feb 8, 17 1:28 pm

Is that a heptapod vocab off Arrival?

That said, not chugging down a dozen at least once during studio is mine. Wonder how that feels like, brainstorming while wasted.

Feb 8, 17 1:43 pm

no, but now I'm curious about Arrival. (first post here, I thought I needed a thumbnail/icon for the post)

I dropped my calculator and broke it on the way to my math final and didn't tell the prof. Not a good move.

Feb 8, 17 2:00 pm

I didn't take my history class very seriously...

Feb 8, 17 4:28 pm

That I went and didnt do a MS.RED instead -now forever poor and depressed

Feb 8, 17 4:34 pm

I was hoping for that hot architecture school romance with a classmate, but didn't happen.

Feb 8, 17 4:36 pm

Josh, You don't got that Antonio Banderas / Ricky Martin thing going for ya. You got more of the Dilbert / Drew Carey thing.... don't think it's going to work the same for ya.


Didn't go after the hot architecture school romances. 

Feb 8, 17 4:45 pm

yeah.that's true;)


For the missed romances: there's always grad school. Plus the undergrads stay the same age. Yes they do. Yes they do.

Feb 8, 17 4:50 pm

Did go after the hot arch school romances.

Didn't end well.

Feb 8, 17 4:58 pm

Yeah this was me. Spent too much time being boy crazy and not focusing on work. Love comes along when you're not looking, it turned out in my case.

Spending too much time in studio those first years. It took me a while to figure out how to best manage my time.

Not exercising regularly during those first years. I became a much more stable person physically, mentally, and emotionally when I took the time to exercise regularly.

Also, caring too much about what the professors thought of my projects. Looking back, my best projects were the ones where I did my own thing trying to make myself happy with the outcome. The worst were the ones where I was trying to bend the project to meet every whim of the professor. 

Feb 8, 17 6:20 pm

These are all good comments.


The worst were the ones where I was trying to bend the project to meet every whim of the professor. 

+1 to that. I'm pretty sure some professors will intentionally contradict themselves from week to week just so you learn to think independently. Or I just had a few senile profs, equally likely.

Feb 8, 17 6:36 pm

Didn't go after the hot architecture school romances. 

Sometimes I feel bad for the kids that hooked up and got married from my undergrad. All of them work is expensive cities, bike to work (mostly because they have one car and a parking pass is $800 a year), have one child, and are oh so hip.

Feb 8, 17 6:46 pm

I'm pretty sure some professors will intentionally contradict themselves from week to week just so you learn to think independently. Or I just had a few senile profs, equally likely.

+1 to that.

Sometimes I feel bad for the kids that hooked up and got married from my undergrad. All of them work is expensive cities, bike to work (mostly because they have one car and a parking pass is $800 a year), have one child, and are oh so hip.

DeTwan, why would you feel bad for them? If they are making it work and are happy with their lives, isn't that enough? I know plenty of people that fit the mold you outlined and they all seem to be doing well and are happy. I feel happy for them.

Feb 8, 17 7:20 pm

there was no one in architecture school I wanted to sleep with, so I accidentally focused on the dance and drama departments

Feb 8, 17 7:30 pm

Did go after the hot arch school romances.

Ended well.

Feb 8, 17 7:46 pm

After my last in a string of studio romances inevitably ended, I vowed "No more students" and "No more designers"

Then I went and fell in love with a landscape design student. So far, so good on that one though.

Feb 8, 17 7:58 pm

My first real boyfriend was a fellow arch student. We had lotsa fun and still stay in contact - no regrets there. Architects are fun to date and if you don't think so, you prob mean yourself isn't fun so yeah. Do stay away from the fine arts students tho, speaking from experience.

My regret? Taking it too seriously and not spending more time outside of studio in the real world.

Feb 8, 17 8:02 pm

EI, the key word was 'sometimes'. They look happy, but I know they are worked to the bone and more or less feel the emotions that perhaps their parents might have towards them. Not that my life is any better, I just have empathy for the weary, tired, and broke. Call me Jesus

Feb 8, 17 8:15 pm

Also, alot of the ppl that married were nerdy af and high brow'd the shit out of themselves, guess you had to be there. Good ppl, but trying to be cool in your thirties is some funny HS shit

Feb 8, 17 8:23 pm

last semester in undergrad, had the 3d CAD'ing down to a science I thought. Was using US satellite images (2002) to build entire neighborhoods of Kansas City houses and all. I did a whole bunch of trees as well. Couldnt get a command to work, later finding out in practice it was solvable - like in 5 minutes. Was 1 month from graduation and remember leaning on my then $100 1980 toyota hatchback talking to a guy who last time I checked is a writer living in France now, discussing my issue. I told him I was over it. He tried to convince me to stay, but I was too tired. Literally 5 minutes from copious amounts of work. Never shown, never further discussed.

Feb 8, 17 8:33 pm
My real regret? I didn't socialize enough and didn't forge bonds outside of one of my classmates. Several of my classmates live here in Chicago but we don't hang out much.
Feb 8, 17 8:48 pm
On the fence

Yep. Me too


For those of you who just went to undergrad/grad school for the hot rolances, I hope 200k bought you aome good sex. You can get a hooker for 1/100k of the price.

Feb 8, 17 8:55 pm

I have two regrets:

a. Not spending enough time developing 'lasting' relationships with non-architectural students at my university -- you know, those people who now run companies and could be potential clients (or leads to potential clients.)

b. Not taking enough 'broadening' electives outside of architecture. We architects tend to be so narrow in our focus and interests that we're often not very well rounded (read: not very interesting to other people who are not architects.)

Feb 8, 17 9:01 pm

when I went to school, it only cost tens of thousands of dollars (school, not sex workers)

Feb 8, 17 9:03 pm

quizzical and josh - on socializing. there was this saying "the A student becomes a professor, the B student the designer, and the C student the boss". this meant the C student went out and partied a lot and met UPenn in grad school some Wharton entrepenuers emailed the school of architecture dept. asking to work with some architect students. As I was eventually hired they informed me that they had recieved basically 30+ emails lecturing them on taking advantage of other students. one person used words you would only see on an SAT test. some students basically wrote hate mail. myself and one other person expressed genuine interest. they asked for some up front conceptual stuff - no charge. the other person was very protective of their design and only showed paper copies. I sent stuff knowing after working 4 years there is execution. point of the true story, architects tend to be idiots sometimes with regard to normal social business behavior. Wharton School of Business. look it up and see who went to school there.

Feb 8, 17 9:10 pm

We were a very social class. I'm still in contact with most of my classmates and it has been a few years, I won't say how many. I still get Christmas presents from 2 of them every year! Not cards. Presents.

Feb 8, 17 9:22 pm

tinnt - social class as in "architecture" class or the entire school? (just curious)

Feb 8, 17 9:27 pm

architecture class. 

Feb 8, 17 9:31 pm
Non Sequitur
I still have a very close network of undergrad friends. 4 of us eventually all purchased homes within the same neighborhood and I'm slowly warming another to join forces. I still communicate and drink beers with many on a weekly basis. Only one from grad school thou, which I guess is a regret to not have followed up with several more post masters.
Feb 9, 17 7:46 am

#1) Caring about a portfolio that no employer has ever looked at

But regardless, despite most people in arch school disliking me and telling me I'd regret not having good projects to look back on, I did the bare minimum, never once did an all nighter, I joined a frat, was on club sports, and partied 4-5x a week. 

Now I make more than anyone else I graduated with and have some great connections that have started to turn into work for my firm or side work. Being the black sheep definitely worked out. 

Feb 9, 17 9:16 am

I fucked about my whole undergrad, didn't care about my education. worth it.

Feb 9, 17 10:04 am

regret not taking my education more serious ie. exploring ideas more, experimenting with diff materials etc.., although I did experiment with and explorer cocktail options, my fav was what we labeled "The black duck" 

Feb 9, 17 4:18 pm

archiwutm8 - Back to your usual bs again I see...

Feb 9, 17 4:31 pm

Not, bs. I enjoyed it, I explored things and experimented with my portfolio with projects I enjoyed but didn't take it as "serious" as some others. Was only 18 when I went in anyhow.


Took school too seriously, when I could have 10x more romances.

Feb 9, 17 5:38 pm

not being friendlier to peers; was selective on who i spent time with and kept most of my friends outside school. don't regret it too much, but figure being a bit more friendlier wouldn't have hurt.

Feb 9, 17 7:50 pm

based on the responses, the "rush of the object" really does take a toll on our social well-being.

Feb 10, 17 3:40 pm

I'm still in, but I regret not experimenting as much as I could have.

Feb 11, 17 5:58 pm
wurdan freo

Nothing a hit of acid won't fix.. Or did you mean with a same sex partner. Or did you mean experimenting with design...

wurdan freo


Feb 12, 17 3:03 pm

Haha, design of course.

Outside of the romance stuff, though, here is something I both regretted and didn't:

In undergrad we had the option of choosing unofficial "tracks" in studio.  My closest friends, who I am still VERY close with 30 years later, all went on the heavy design track: more think-ey, conceptual, object-oriented, self-analytical, high-design. I chose the urban design track, because I've always liked cities.

So I don't regret that choice, because I still prefer contextually-based design of spaces for living to object-based approaches. What I regret is how much I worried and felt self-conscious over that decision. I didn't choose the "cool" path and I felt like my friends were judging me for it. But as it turns out it was what interested *me* and my friends are still my friends. I just wasted a bunch of energy worrying about what others thought of me, basically.

(Four years later of course I ended up in the MOST think-ey, conceptual, belly-button-gazing grad design program possible, which was great for two years of fun.)

Feb 12, 17 3:17 pm

I regret not being involved in other things at university besides the courses and classes. I would have loved to be involved within the department, the school magazine or student union but was totally overwhelmed and absorbed by the design course loads. Would also have been handy in establishing a network that I could use at this moment.

Feb 13, 17 3:46 am

All good work happens after midnight.

Feb 13, 17 2:00 pm
Olaf Design Ninja_

disagree. at about 3am or 4am the hallucinations kick in. if the room is dark enough you cannot tell your awake and people are moving everywhere. street light chasers. i felt in the absolute desolate night stuff happened. i may regret it when older and my brain stops working...

Feb 13, 17 6:18 pm

Just think, an experienced designer can do in an afternoon what it used to take a whole semester to do. In that way, school is for making mistakes and once you make all them once and learn what not to do, you can roll. Except then somehow sometimes you still have to pull an all nighter. 

Feb 13, 17 6:56 pm

I stayed up 3 days once finishing a project. I had difficulty presenting it. Wouldn't do that again.

Feb 13, 17 10:23 pm

The day I drank a 2 liter bottle of Mountain Dew in studio. Wouldn't do that again.

Feb 13, 17 10:33 pm

Apologies, because I've told this story before: I copied a trick from the 80s skateboarder culture in Southern California and melted a Jolly Rancher stick into a can of Jolt! Cola and drank it to stay up. Felt so ill for 12 hours.


should have said fuck a lot more when talking in class

Feb 13, 17 11:53 pm

Rick...your reply to my comment is creepy as hell.

Feb 14, 17 10:40 am

A few things I regret from architecture school:

1. All romantic involvement with other architecture students and faculty.

2. Not learning welding, when the opportunity was presented.

3. Not going on the international trips or doing a semester abroad.

4. Elective credits spent on software courses.

5. Not going back and more fully finishing a few interesting projects.

Feb 14, 17 12:48 pm


1 - Explain pls.

4 - Made the right choice here, unwise to spend money on software courses when you can pick it up on your own.

5 - Never too late.

Feb 14, 17 1:23 pm

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