I am tempted to write this, as I have been reading (and also reacting to) some of the status updates by my student friends on Facebook. Thankfully, Missourie Law doesn’t apply in India, and we students and teachers can be friends on Facebook. 🙂

Well, the point is, architecture course. The same course which students and parents thought was best while choosing a career option, starts appearing like a “torture” and “suicide” to many of them. So cruel it sounded that I thought of renaming the course to “Architorture”. Blame it on May, then! May, supposedly is the cruelest month in year, academically. Submission pressures, design rejections, lost sheets, damaged models, angry faculty, attendance issues and worst, the summer heat  which adds to this torture…

Well, no outrage please, but I also think most of the Architecture Institutes in India are not designed to be climate responsive, specially the summer heat. Do you agree? Do you see the irony there? May is also the time, when we (the faculty) encounter many new student faces. Many of these have remained absconding for whole semester or didn’t clear the subject previous year. Some of them will also blame the faculty for not being regular. Actually, I have faced it. 😀

As part of the faculty, May is full of pressures for us too.. This is the month of consolidation and important decisions. We try (hard) not to sympathize with students’ excuses and try our best not to succumb to any pressures, from students, their parents or sometimes even colleagues. Whenever, I talk to students, I am reminded of my student days. I can very well relate the situation to “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi”. But then I too carry a big faculty ego.

Now, how can students cope up with such pressures? Some simple tips:

1. Have fun. Do not miss out on any opportunity where you can have fun, even at 2:00 Hrs at dead of night in the middle of that ugly looking construction ( 😛 ) sheet. Play games, crack jokes, mimic your teachers and friends, go out for a munch (if allowed and safe). Work in groups, smaller the better, optimum number is five, in my view.

See the picture below:

Fun a midst of submission pressures
Photo Credits: Shine Bhola

I could not resist smiling at the attitude of these students. They were seen playing cards blocking the corridor, ignoring all the submission pressures, juries and even Council of Architecture inspection which was going on in the campus. Some of the students playing here were also facing juries simultaneously. Now just to share here, I did not find anything wrong here, though some of my colleagues have strongly objected to this. That is a different issue altogether, that I would discuss in a different blog.

2. Take a break. Leave that sheet alone for some time. Sleep, listen to your favourite music. Discuss ‘anything else’ with your friends. Anything else like your girl friends, boy friends, break ups, movies, food, whatever, but not the assignment you are already busy (frustrated, I mean) with.

3. Shout. Shout aloud. Believe me, it is a great stress buster. Shouting let’s you forget your frustration and worries for some time. If you cannot shout for some reason, sing loudly. Preferably, high pitch ones,  Himesh Reshamiyya Songs. 😀 (My neighbors generally complain that I sing too loudly, may be that is a polite way of saying that I sing too badly.)

4. Hate that teacher? Hate – with love. Draw a cartoon of the teacher, as funny as possible, as big as possible, as ugly as possible. Involve your room mates and friends. Put it on a wall and write: “Do whatever you can, I will get rid of you this semester.” This will beat all other motivational posters, note that.

Don’t you play Angry Birds? This time you are that fat white bird that causes maximum destruction. And rest, do I need to say? 😉

(I can only pray that you do not get to face the same faculty in next semester.) 😀

5. Last, get back to work. Get rid of it. Do not forget, you have promised your parents that you will do well. Try your best. First, get rid of everything that you hate, by giving it a first priority. And the remaining time is all for the things you love.

Friends, no matter how bad is your faculty, how cruel is your institute and how bad tastes the food at hostel. At the end, you will always miss the days that you spent with your friends at your college.

We, the faculty want all of you to be happy. All of you.

So cheers! 🙂

Title: Minaz Ansari, Proof Reading: Keshav B.S., Indranil Chatterjee