Majoring in Landscape Architecture

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I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while now. I wanted to explain a little about my major. This a major that is not popular and some people haven’t even heard of it, I know I didn’t. But I wanted to talk about it to shed light on it for those who might be interested in getting into the field.

What is Landscape Architecture?

“So what is Landscape Architecture?” Well it’s just how it sound, we are Architects of the Land. While regular architects design buildings we design the land surround that building. According to the American Society of Landscape Architects also know as ASLA “Landscape architects analyze, plan, design, manage, and nurture the built and natural environments. Landscape architects have a significant impact on communities and quality of life. They design parks, campuses, streetscapes, trails, plazas, and other projects that help define a community.”

I know pretty cool right! So we basically design outdoor spaces and there are many fields you can go into when it comes to Landscape architecture. Some are Urban design, public parks, residential design, stormwater management, urban and regional planning, Historic Preservation & Landscape Restoration, Commercial, Industrial, Corporate Development, and more.

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Why I chose it ?

I have always been interested design. I knew I wanted to go into a field where I could express myself in some kind of design capacity. When I was little I use to sketch clothes. So naturally I thought I would go into fashion design. But then I took an Art history class in high school that also covered architecture. During that class I feel in love with architecture and seeing the beauty in building design. So that what I perused my freshman year in college. Once I started taking the classes, I just knew in my heart that wasn’t the right major for me. So I was back to the drawing board. After dropping that major I took a semester or two taking my general classes to figure out what I wanted to do next. I thought about being a business or a graphic design major, I also considered interior design which I might still get a masters in. But I saw a major online that I thought was interesting, landscape architecture. After doing some research and taking a tour at the of the landscape architecture building at my school, I was hooked! It felt right. Landscape architecture had the design aspect I was looking for but in a different way I had never thought of before. Looking back if I didn’t listen to my intuition to change my major I would have been miserable.

What are The classes like?

At the my university the classes are structured like this: You have a new studio class each semester. That studio will cover different aspects of landscape design so one semester you will be learning about regional design and the next semester you could be learning about urban design. In those studio classes we visit real sites that we go through the whole design process for. The project usually take a month and a half to finish but it depends. Some professors will give your 2 to 3 project in that semester. (I will do a separate post or video on what the design process looks like.) After you are done with the project, you present it to a group of your peers and other landscape architecture professionals.

The other classes you take are building block to help you become a well rounded landscape architect and teach you things to help with your studio projects. These classes include plant science classes , software classes like Photoshop, auto cad, sketch up. And site engineering, drawing fundamentals classes. There are also lecture classes where you learn about stromwater management and other aspects of landscape design.

Another thing I like about the major is that classes are very different and you are not just sitting hearing lectures all the time. One day you could be drawing outside, next you could be learning about plant species, or doing a site visit. Each day is different and each class is different.

That is pretty much it. A brief overview of majoring in landscape architecture. If you have any more questions feel free to comment on this post or email me personally, I would be happy to answer them!

How I Prepare Myself for The Spring Semester

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Some of you guys have already started back at school for the spring semester and some of you haven’t like myself. This will be my last and final semester!! It’s kind of exciting and bittersweet at the same time. And although I would love to sit here and reflect on my college experience, I still need to get through this semester, Then we can get nostalgic. So before a new semester starts I have a routine that I do to make sure I am starting the semester off to a good start.

My Schedule

I register for all of my classes before the previous semester ends. So In November I already knew the classes I was going to be taking in the spring. Before the spring semester I just double check and make sure my schedule is set then I will add it to my calendar, I use google calendar. Once I have added my classes to my calendar, I will add times for my other responsibilities like blogging and filming, around those classes. I will come up with a more detailed schedule once I get my syllabus for the classes, then I can add exam dates, projects, and schedule out study times.

Textbooks

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Most of my classes don’t require textbooks because of my major (landscape architecture), but in the case where I have to take a class that require textbooks I like to go on the hunt to see if I can get the textbook for free online, in a PDF version, or I look on Amazon and try the rent it. Most of the time Amazon will have to book and I just go ahead and order it.

Supplies

For my major I need supplies that other people don’t normally need. If I used all of my drafting paper and drafting dots, which is what I usually run out of, then I will order it. Also when starting a new semester I like to start with a new sketch book. The best and cheapest place to order art supplies like this is Blick Art Supplies, they have everything and ship pretty fast! If I need something ASAP I will order it from Amazon or go to my local craft store like a Micheal’s.

Organize Files

On my computer I will make new a folder for the new semester and new folders the classes I will be taking that semester. I will also clean up files that were not put in the right folder from the previous semester, sometimes at the end of the semester things get misplaced and messy. Organizing my computer files is very important for me because most of my work is done on a computer. I have a lot of Photoshop, Auto Cad, and Indesign files. It’s important to keep all of those things in the right place and not just saved anywhere.

Clean Up Old Papers

After I finish a semester I normally don’t go through my folders and throw away stuff I don’t need because I’m just too exhausted to after finals, projects, and long papers. So once it’s time for a new semester I just go through my folders and backpack and throw away old hand outs and stuff I will never need again. I normally will keep old quizzes and stuff like that, just to refer back to if needed.

But yeah that is pretty much it. That is how I prepare for my spring semester of school.

My college essentials

I will be back to college pretty soon so in these last few days I am gathering up all my supplies. Here are my college essentials. 

Backpack - This is a must have . You need something to help carry all of your textbooks and supplies. 

Page Marker - Great to put in textbooks to keep track of where you left off or to mark important information. 

Sticky Notes - These help remind me of assignment and things that I have to do. 

Binder/ Notebook/ Folders - Folders help me keep my papers organized. Notebooks and binder help me take my notes. 

Calculator - If you are taking math courses than this will always come in handy. 

Flash Drive - Keep all my computer assignments in one place. 

Index Cards - These help me study so much when I have test. 

Highlighters - Always use highlighters for important info.

Pens/ Pencils  - To do all of your writing with. 

Laptop - My laptop is my best friend. 

Portable Charger - Not everywhere on campus has a place to charge your devices. So having a portable charger is best. 

Stapler - I keep a mini stapler in my bag for those paper emergency's. 

Well that's about it, My most needed and used school supplies.