The Final Year. Uni thing #4

Third year followed in the same 2nd Year footsteps, which meant unfortunately nothing got any better. Though, had learnt my lesson the year before, i was very, very determined and motivated to do my best and finish the course to the best of my ability.

Third year consisted of only 3 separate projects – 2 design projects and a dissertation. I basically lived inside the university buildings. If i wasn’t working or sleeping, i was in the studio or in the library. Yes, at times it was hard to balance work and studies, and although in the last month i had to quit my job because i just couldn’t deal with all the deadlines approaching, but i needed the income otherwise i wouldn’t have survived till deadlines anyway. You know food and everything…

I was doing tons of research, i was adding and adding to my sketchbooks, coming up with new ideas and solutions, but something was missing. Something wasn’t right, i could feel it. I couldn’t portray my ideas. I had great ideas, but for unknown reasons i wasn’t able to put them down on paper for others to see.

The first semester passed very quickly, as per usual, and lots of things were getting me down. But the worst thing of all was the attitude we were getting from the tutor. I felt a bit of a stagnation in our learning process. Nothing was changing or improving and there was only so much i could do on my own…

Shortly before Christmas break we had a bunch of students from Singapore partner university come over for a week. They showed presentations of their projects, we showed ours, we had a collab’project together and in general lots of fun – they were all great.

I just lied there slightly… we didn’t really present our projects to them, well most of us didn’t. Even more of us didn’t bother to be in the uni that week. I was, but i did’t blame the rest – we had so much to do at the end of the year that the whole idea of those extra activities in the final year just didn’t make any sense. But the main reason nobody really wanted to present their projects was the shame. Singapore students showed not just incredible designs but the whole presentation was nothing, and i mean nothing like ours. Photo-realistic design photos, 3d walk-through and bunch of other awesome stuff. And then there’s us – using basic AutoCAD, bulk standard SketchUp with no rendering and Photoshop for our visuals.

I felt pathetic, still do, to be completely honest. But like i said, there was only so much we could have done to learn new things and improve our designer skills… I expected to be taught all the wonderful things or at least be pointed in the right direction, but unfortunately i didn’t get any of that.

The phrase that came out of my tutor when we had a slight argument about why nobody wanted to present their projects (apparently that made him look bad) was the most absurd thing i had ever heard in my life – – ‘You (the students) are here (in the uni) to learn, not to be taught!’

I was speechless, stunned by that. I still close my eyes and hear him say that and that just makes my blood boil. We do go to uni to learn, but we are sure as hell expecting to be taught. Especially when education costs are so high. I have a huge (not as huge as most people have now since the fees got tripled) debt and so much anger in me that is really a burden in a day-to-day life. I have to pay it back, and i would love to get a great job and earn lots of money so that i could pay it back quickly, but to be honest – for the education i got i do not want to pay it back.

If we are not supposed to get taught in the university, the fees for the whole course should be as high as the average broadband subscription since Google does all the teaching for free!


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