What I Miss Most About in-Person School

Today’s Topics:

  • Studio Culture
  • Clubs and Organizations
  • Will it Ever be the Same?

Studio Culture

When I was in high school going on college tours to architecture schools, one thing that was universal across all campuses was that they all had some sort of unique culture in which students learn.

I am very glad that I was able to have almost a full year of in-person study so that I know what it is like.

I formed a really tight bond with many people in my studio, and with most projects I would be the earliest person to arrive, and the last person to leave. I would always be interesting seeing the waves of people going in and out of class.

Now, with all of that transitioned to an online space, it is harder than ever to achieve anything close to that as a studio.

Often times for my class no one really has their video on much, people only speak when spoken to, and it really does make for a boring class.

At one point I organized a group to do small critiques and to look at work, but even that could only go so far.

Clubs and Organizations

Outside of studio, something I looked forward to most was being part of different clubs and organizations.

I would always be looking forward to attending meetings, going to events, doing work and much more.

Now none of these things really happen as much. If they do, it is done through a zoom call just like everything else.

It feels much more strictly business with an agenda and then the call ends. It rarely leaves any time for people to get to know each other and bond or anything like that.

Sometimes in the past we would take trips to various places and although I did get to take a trip once last year, I really miss doing things like that as I would have taken possibly 3 trips this year.

Will it Ever be the Same?

That is the question that I always ask myself, and has lead to my decision about next semester.

For the Fall semester I chose to stay at home with online school for various reasons, with one being that I would only have one class be in person.

Looking at my options for this spring semester, the school released that the classes would all operate the same.

There is nothing about that making me jump and say “I’m definitely going back for the spring”.

This does make me wonder. After vaccines and the fall semester comes around again, will things ever be the same?

After a year of lost studio culture, will it ever return back to what it once was? Or do I have false expectations?

The freshman have not experienced it at all, some students may have found an alternative to wanting to work in studio. A big question would be about if the studio space would ever regain normalcy.

All of these will be hard choices and decisions and can say with confidence that many things will still be different from when I last was in school. It will just be a matter of finding normalcy in something new.

Thank you for tuning into this week’s blog post, I hope you enjoyed this article! Leave a comment on what you think about this topic. As always, Dream Big!

Published by Alonzo Colon

Architecture Student at Virginia Tech

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