Sophomore Nicole Liu is a communications intern in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.

Nicole Liu
The day our professors announced that our studios were locked up for the remainder of the semester, my studio mates and I were devastated.

“How are we going to do architecture online?” we wondered.

As everyone was collecting their folders, drawings, cutting supplies, and other scraps left in their studio spaces, Ryan Smith, director of the School of Design and Construction, came in to apologize to us. We were too upset to even say anything.

Our assignments are hard to complete without the studio spaces, and we work so collaboratively with our classmates. Without being physically in our studios and classrooms, we really didn’t know how we were going to build our models, draw or improve our designs. It was hard to be motivated.

We are now in the fifth week of trying to make our bedrooms a studio space for model-making and hand-drafting.

Wooden model-making pieces on a cutting mat with scissors and a utility knife.
Models for architecture classes are built in the bedroom.

Maybe it was facing the reality that it has to be this way no matter how we feel, but, thankfully, our attitude toward online school has definitely improved.

We have started to enjoy interactions with our professors and peers through Zoom. We also very much appreciate that our professors made submission requirements easier for us. We are even communicating more in our studio group chats to make sure everyone is on the same page and doing their submissions correctly. We also know that a lot of people are less fortunate than us — to even have a bedroom to do our work. We appreciate that the school and our professors are making adjustments to suit the situation.

Through COVID-19 I realized that if all of us come together and think positively, even if it is only virtually, we can thrive in our academics. And, if we just wait a bit more, we can get to the end of this!

This is honestly a chance to reflect, improve, and head back to campus in the future with a new mindset.