Covid derailed my dream

Two years of online lectures, social anxiety… No wonder this architecture student has lost her motivation. 

Take the pressure off yourself, says our elder. You are through the worst.


Dear EWC

I am a third-year architecture student. I started university when Covid started – therefore I spent the first two years online. At the beginning of my third year we were told that we were going to have to come back on campus. I don’t know why but I took it hard and started to have anxiety about coming back especially because I don’t really know anyone in my class and also because my university is 30 minutes from my house and I don’t drive. Therefore I had to take public transportation which I wasn’t used to, so I started to skip classes just so that I don’t have to go in public transportation and be sitting alone in class (and I didn’t want to approach anyone because I kind of feel intimidated by them because they all know each other and I’m the only one who is from another region). This led to a problem with a couple of my courses and I had to drop them. After I did that I felt that I lost motivation and I wasn’t as excited about architecture as I used to be, and this semester I chose not to take a course because I was feeling really anxious and couldn’t take the pressure that this course gives me (it’s one of the main courses in architecture) and by not taking it my graduation would be delayed a year and I felt so guilty and selfish by doing that because there is a financial crisis in my country and delaying a year means more money that my parents have to pay and we’re not exactly comfortable money wise. So how can I regain that motivation and love that I had for architecture? And am I being selfish by delaying my graduation a year?


Lincoln-Parker replies

Please understand that you have been up against a lot since you started your dream to become an architect. The trials you have been up against over the last three years might have tripped up even the strongest person and must have been incredibly traumatic for someone your age. First, you looked forward to an outstanding university experience only to have it become anything but, as you could not partake in the part of university life that makes all of the work worthwhile. Then there was the intimidation of finally switching to in-school classes just when the pressures of a heavier course load were setting in. All this while your commute limited your ability to establish a social life which could have made it all bearable.

It has been a three-year grind. You could have easily lost your motivation not only for architecture but university together. However, the fact that you have stuck with it is an actual testimony to your personality, and I don’t see why it would be selfish to delay your graduation. If you can swing it financially, I think you would be wise to do so. I am writing from the USA, and a high percentage of students here had to extend their number of years in college during these last few years. As with you, many have had their motivation tested because the college experience was just not there. In addition, some found themselves behind because they did not adapt well to online learning. It wasn’t because they weren’t as bright as the others, but it wasn’t the best environment for their learning skills. 

If you think you still have a passion for architecture, please carry on with that goal, but do it so that you can find that love again. Take some pressure off yourself. Maybe that means an extra year; perhaps it means taking a year off to regroup, doing some on-the-job training, earning money, and confirming your passion. Just do not let this terrible pandemic be the sole reason for discarding a dream that can still be fulfilled. Either of these options (and there might be others) would give you additional time to recover from the Covid trauma, which has affected so many young students.

You are three years into an excellent career plan. If you still crave that career and it takes a bit longer than initially expected, don’t hesitate. You are through the worst part now. Ten or 15 years from now, you will look back and think that was a tough time, but that additional time was well spent; I love what I am doing, and it was all worth it. 

We all have times when we will be tested; those tests often make us stronger.

Article #: 494302
Category: School

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