“You know you’re an architecture student when…”
In the freshman College of Architecture and Planning studio, a sign has various inside jokes and a remark of the students’ lifestyles. A paper is posted above a work desk that begins, “You know you’re an architecture student when …”
Students in CAP finish the sentence in various ways.
“When you don’t know what to do with your free time.” — Aimee King, a sophomore
“When you get more than four hours of sleep and you think it’s a lot.” — Bryce Derhammer, a sophomore
“When you love to watch HGTV because you love to look at all the houses.” — Shelby Harris, a sophomore
“When you live up in the studio.” — Karen Garcia, a sophomore
“When you spend more money on your laptop than your first vehicle.” — Alex DeKemper, a sophomore
“When people are saying, ‘Good morning,’ and you haven’t slept.” — Andrew Brindley, a graduate student
“When you walk around and point out architecture things to your non-architecture friends. When you haven’t slept in several days. When you become a critic of everything you see.” — Nick Dodge, a graduate student
“When you’re sitting and relaxing with other architecture majors and you analyze the room itself.” — Sabrina Senninger, a freshman
What may seem like a disaster zone at first to the naked eye is really controlled chaos in the mind of an architecture student.
It’s their studio, where the desks are worn with age and covered in the marks of students past. Models, pens, foamcore and chipboard cover the large wooden desks, a fair representation of a day in the life of a Ball State architecture student.
“[It’s] as difficult as you want it to be,” Nick Dodge, a graduate student, said. “I’m a graduate assistant for the first years. Checking on them is most important [and] takes first priority.”
The College of Architecture and Planning houses six floors worth of students from freshmen to grad students.
Students, who are laboring in “the Tower” day and night, sometimes spend hours working on a project to meet their deadline.
“The longest I’ve spent here is three days last semester,” Karen Garcia, a sophomore, said. “I had a portfolio, a board and a model due. My average amount of sleep was every other day.”
First year students apply to the program and then reapply at the end of the year to one of three separate sections: architecture, urban planning or landscape architecture.
While the work environment may seem daunting and sometimes stressful, the students still manage to have a good time. One of the studios for the freshmen is full of humor and pranks.
“We have paper football tournaments and play baseball with paper balls,” Sabrina Senninger, a freshman, said. “We like to mess with each other sometimes.”
Once, Senninger brought a container of brownies to the studio, and they were combination locked to the hammock that hangs from one of the beams.
Some students take to listening and singing to Disney music and movies to help them along late nights or long days.
Even if they started their first day by seeing “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” — from the gate of Hell in Dante’s “Divine Comedy” — at the entrance to their first year studio, they have aspirations that reach past getting a degree.
Aimee King, a sophomore, is a part of the Army ROTC program and said she hopes to own her own firm one day.
“I want to go into houses,” Bryce Derhammer, a sophomore, said. “Houses are ugly, and I want to change the way they look.”
Students from CAP support and look after each other, offering opinion, both good and bad. They share a bond in the demanding nature of their major, where sometimes students see the sunrise from their studio after a long night of toiling with cardboard and a box cutter.
“Everyone knows what you’re going through,” Garcia said. “You’re not the only crazy person here.”
Shelby Harris, a sophomore, has made friends through her two years in the program.
“It’s a giant family,,” Harris said.