10 Mistakes Every Landscape Architecture Student Makes and How to Avoid Them
Whether you’re an upperclassman or a freshman, this list outlines mistakes that landscape architecture students make and more importantly how to avoid them. It is likely that you have made one or more of these mistakes, but don’t worry — learn from the experience and capitalize on the missed opportunity next time.
10. Caring too much about what your professors think
While professors often carry advanced degrees and have spent time in the professional world, they do not have all the answers. Learn how to think critically for yourself and don’t be afraid to challenge ideas that you think don’t work.
9. Caring too little about what your professors think
As mentioned above, professors have advanced degrees and work experience. They often know what they are talking about — and you often don’t. Listen, take notes, and learn from their wealth of knowledge.
8. Not networking with professionals
Your alma mater can only get you so far in today’s competitive world. Firms look for students who are out in the field gaining experience before they graduate. Firms are also made up of people who like working with people they know and can get along with. One of the best ways to get a job is to make connections and develop relationships. LABash, a student run landscape architecture conference, is a tremendous opportunity to connect with professionals and students.
7. Avoiding your local and national professional society
Organizations such as the American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA) are pushing to make your future livelihood possible. They are often monitoring legislature, guiding professional testing, and — even more importantly — providing opportunities for you to mix with current professionals and other students.
6. Thinking architects are stupid
Unfortunately some schools and firms still harbor animosity toward other design professions. Do yourself a favor and toss this dated model to the curb. We work with architects, and they have a lot to bring to the table.
5. Trying to become an expert on every topic in landscape architecture
Landscape architecture is quickly developing numerous offshoots and specialties. Biophilic design, green infrastructure, brownfield redevelopment, stormwater management, a large variety of software, and more all call for our attention. A safe bet is to get really good at what interests you and at least become aware of what else is out there.
4. Not having a life outside of school
Keep your relationships outside of school, and your hobbies, too! These things relax and recharge you. Take the time to disconnect from the tedious schedule of school. You deserve it.
3. Treating every assignment as though it is your chance to save the world
Keep in mind that you are a student and are using each project and assignment to “learn” something you previously had no knowledge about. Keep your projects at a level that helps you understand the essential ideas and realize that you don’t have to save the world with your project for it to be a success.
2. Comparing yourself to your classmates
It is difficult to not look at your classmates’ work and think, “How the heck did they do that?”
Or “There is no way I will ever be able to do that.” Realize that we all have a variety of skills and we are all advancing them at different paces. Excel at your interests and learn from your classmates’.
1. Being a perfectionist
What can I say? We became design students because we think critically and want things to work and make sense. If you weren’t a perfectionist, you probably wouldn’t be in design school. If you want to get over this, quit school and seek counseling.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of mistakes while in landscape architecture school. Every student’s experience is different. What are your Number 1 mistakes?
Article written by Cameron R. Rodman
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