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B.Arch Student Opinions: do you feel like you’re failing?

nicolesierra117

I’m a 1st year B.Arch student at CalPoly and I know that I love architecture. I love what I learn in studio, from the design process, pursuing ideas, and technical skills. However i’m not *good* at architecture. I sacrifice basically everything for studio and i’m an average student; I want to stay here and keep studying but i’m this close to failing out because all my classes have been skating past on C’s so far and GPA is... bad. I improve in school every quarter but I feel it’s not enough, and i’m totally freaking out that I’m not seen as my professors as a talented or dedicated enough student since I swing between staying up til 4/6am a few nights in a row redoing my drawings for a third time, and barely completing work because i’m behind in other classes. I feel that I belong here and architecture is what I’m meant for, but don’t know how to stay in this program and to really accelerate my improvement.

 
Mar 13, 19 3:18 pm
Non Sequitur

Stop working through-out the nights if you're not getting the results you need.  Prioritize your work and make smart but definitive design decisions early as to not be stuck constantly re-doing everything all the time.  This shit takes time to understand and you're barely ankle deep.

Mar 13, 19 3:55 pm
Anon_grad2.0

I never once felt like that. Honestly, making good grades isn't that complicated in school. When I was an undergraduate student, I noticed the students who did not make an effort to socialize with classmates (not as in lets go drinking/party, but asking them about their classwork) usually suffered. Studio culture promotes that socializing, use it to your advantage. Just don't rip off other people's work...that's a different topic though 

You are in your first year and are doing "all nighter's"? 

Ever thought about changing your habits? There is almost no reason to have to stay up. It's unhealthy and affects productivity. I've always hated that ingrained part of studio culture that many think is required....

It sounds like you're overwhelmed, its okay to take a break from school, or take fewer courses per semester. As an undergrad, at a certain point, my program required a certain GPA in order to progress. If you didn't have that, you were not allowed to continue. I'm not sure about your program, but I would imagine it has a similar policy.

One thing I made sure to tell students, when I was teaching, was to ask questions. Odds are the rest of your classmates are just as lost/confused as you are. Asking questions will give you clarity and help you.  

Mar 13, 19 4:00 pm
Rusty!

Back in my day a C in studio was a distinct feedback that you passed. If things really clicked you'd get that hard earned B! Only 1 or 2 students got As each semester, And no one was able to do it consistently. It was a good lesson in life of a future Architect. You don't ever really win. You achieve substantial completion mostly intact. 

But then all schools switched to graduate programs where funding is tied to giving out enough As. I don't think this makes for a better education in Architecture, but here we are. 

Unless you are losing scholarships over your Cs, then who gives a shit. I am personally not seeing hard evidence that academic excellence leads to professional excellence in this field. 

Mar 13, 19 6:46 pm

are you going to cal poly slo? or pomona? I went to slo.

don't freak out. its only year one, you have a long ways to go. Many students who appear advanced end up being the worst designers by 5th year. and many students who are the least talented and skilled in year one, end up being the best ones by year 5. Just keep working and do your best to be organized. architecture is one of the professions where dedication and continual hard work (and smart work) WILL pay off. Undergrad school is not a sprint, it's a marathon.

Mar 14, 19 4:57 pm

OH. and also DEFINITELY TALK to your teachers. communicate with them how you feel. They should be able to help you or put your mind more at ease.

Mar 14, 19 4:59 pm
thatsthat

Back in my day a C in studio was a distinct feedback that you passed. If things really clicked you'd get that hard earned B! Only 1 or 2 students got As each semester, And no one was able to do it consistently. It was a good lesson in life of a future Architect. You don't ever really win. You achieve substantial completion mostly intact. 

This is how it was at my undergrad as well.  I barely made it through studio with mostly C's - even though I felt like I was killing myself over studio. Eventually, I got sick of having anxiety attacks and staying up for 50+ hours at a time, and just did what I had to do to get by.  (I didn't know how to budget time or make decisions.)  By the end, I had a reputation for being at the bottom of the class.  However, it doesn't really matter now because I am licensed just like my classmates.  No one has ever asked me - employer or colleague - about whether I got A's or C's in studio.  

Mar 14, 19 5:20 pm
Steeplechase

I too was a B/C studio student. I was literally making myself sick and realized I had to take care of myself first. Passing is passing and it’s better to pass and be well. I’m licensed and it seems a number of the studio darlings are not, if they are even in architecture.

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