The Daily Illini

Being an architecture major isn’t easy

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Three sophomores in architecture major are working in the Architecture Annex Studio, 1206 W peabody Dr, Urbana, IL. They are Jasson Partugi, Gabi Zenmaitis, and Miguel Perez (From left to right).

Three sophomores in architecture major are working in the Architecture Annex Studio, 1206 W peabody Dr, Urbana, IL. They are Jasson Partugi, Gabi Zenmaitis, and Miguel Perez (From left to right).

Shouyan Li

Shouyan Li

Three sophomores in architecture major are working in the Architecture Annex Studio, 1206 W peabody Dr, Urbana, IL. They are Jasson Partugi, Gabi Zenmaitis, and Miguel Perez (From left to right).

By Emma Palatnik, Staff Writer

According to Jessica Duschean, her studies require roughly 30 hours of work a week.

A Tab sleep survey found architecture majors get the least amount of sleep, with an average of 5.28 hours each night. Duschean,  sophomore in FAA studying architecture, can attest to this fact.

“I don’t think being an architecture major is honestly that good for you, because I know a lot of us don’t really sleep that much,” Duschean said. “We’re all working on our projects constantly.”

Kaylee Tucker is a junior, also in FAA and studying architecture. She said although the major is time-consuming, the students have many similar experiences, so there is a sense of camaraderie.

She once had to complete a computer drawing, which ended up taking three hours. She was assigned to do four of them, too.

“I think I got faster; I only timed the first one,” Tucker said.

In addition to being time-consuming, the projects architecture students work on are sometimes difficult. Duschean said many people warned her before her sophomore year that it would be a weed-out year because the coursework is intensive.

“You really have a project due every day,” Duschean said.

Sophomore studio has two courses: a structural course and a studio course.

The structural course is on Tuesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, students have to show progress on their project, and on Thursday, the project is due.

The studio course meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday. During class on Monday, students work on projects. Then, on Wednesday, they turn in a rough draft. On Friday, they turn in the final project. Students are also assigned a new project on Fridays, the same day they turn in that week’s project.

“At least every class period, you have to show that you did something and did your work or else you get behind, which is why I see (professors and TAs) having us turn in projects so often, but at the same time, it’s kind of a nuisance,” Duschean said. 

For juniors, the coursework is a bit different. This semester, they were required to complete two projects — the first project lasted three to four weeks, while the second and final project was 10 weeks long.

When working on these, Tucker said there are a lot of components students don’t know how to complete, forcing them to figure out how things are supposed to work on their own, which can be challenging.

Certain parts of the project are subjective, so students must figure out what looks good to them but also keep in mind what looks good to others.

Since so many projects are assigned throughout the year with very quick turnarounds, the major does not allow for much procrastination.

Time management is a skill that took Duschean almost two semesters to develop. Now, instead of pulling an all-nighter, she stays up until 2 a.m.

“I know there’s a lot of people that get behind in the major, and it’s really just hard for them to catch back up,” Duschean said. “It kind of snowballs out of control from that point on, and then, you just see people falling flat on their faces.”

Once students don’t complete a portion of an assignment and the coursework moves on, they don’t have much time to go back.

While these assignments are time-consuming, both Duschean and Tucker said the best part is seeing the complete version.

“We just had final reviews, and I got to see my classmates’ projects that I haven’t seen for a while, and they looked awesome,” Tucker said.

For Duschean, another interesting part is seeing her project come together.

The semester is coming to an end, so architecture students are putting together their final assignments.

“(By) putting people in it … (you can see) how they move throughout the space finally, and … present on an idea that you’re really passionate about and on a design that you’ve worked so hard (on),” Duschean said.

A big reward for her is finally being finished with the project.

“Honestly after a while, you’re just kind of like, ‘I want to get this done, I’m done with this,’” Duschean said. “Then, when you finally get it all completed, you’re just like ‘Okay, this is awesome, I’m gonna go sleep now.’”

Even though architecture is hard work, many of the students in it do enjoy their major, according to Tucker.

“It’s what we want to be doing,” Tucker said. “It’s not as painful as it could be.”

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