This week I reached my breaking point. After two and a half weeks of enduring the rigours of the Harvard Design School, working up to 17 hour days, and working on weekends. Whenever I walked towards or into the GSD I would feel heavy, anxious and on-edge. In the past three weeks I have broken down in tears three times. Obviously I was having quite an intense visceral reaction to the design process.
I very much appreciate and embrace that process, but I think the pace was just too quick for me. I am a slow, reflective person, I need time to reflect, to process and reapply concepts, I can't be thrown one task after another. Others can, but it just isn't me. Others a really passionate about the process and can sleep 4 hours a night. I've grown to value my downtime and value the fact that a human cannot be on most of the hours in a day.
I can carry an idea through from abstract inception and exploration through to final model making (or at least I am cognizant of the fact that it should be carried through). I appreciate that idea of integrity. I enjoy the process of extracting the idea from a nebulous initial exploratory sketch.
But I had a very strong resistance to the continuous deadlines, the always growing list of new projects... I believe in accomplishing tasks well, but here you have to decide what stays and you usually don't have enough time to finish. I don't want to live in a pressure cooker.
From what I have heard from others, architecture school is very much like the process I am going through -- long hours, a pileup of projects. I am still trying to see whether there is hope in other countries, perhaps a more relaxed process, a more lengthy exploration of ideas before putting them all together into a house (after only three weeks of 'training').
So I quit.
Now I am planning to tour the architectural gems of Boston (which has more architects and architecture students per capita than any other American city), meditate, do a bit more yoga, attend GSD lectures, cook and connect with friends and figure out where life is heading next. New job? New city? Grad school?
A lot of reflection awaits...