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Having a Life Outside Class

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Hello again,

As you are settling into your semester, it is always a good idea to be involved with other things beside classes. Involvement is very important to your experience as a college student. When you go to classes, everyone came out with the same information and knowledge. Involvement outside classes is the only thing that will make you different. Here are some of the involvements for architecture students that I have been part of in the past.

The first one is the American Institute for Architecture Students - Minnesota. This is a great networking opportunity for architecture students. They have their meetings every other Wednesday from noon to 1pm. There are always interesting guest speakers from firms and organizations, so you can hear more about what is happening in the architecture industry outside school. Every semester, they have a trip to architecture conference outside state. I have been to quite a few. It was a great opportunity to network with other architecture students around the country.

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(left) 2011-12 AIAS officers in the mall are of Washington D.C., (right) in front of National AIA office at 2011 AIAS Grassroot Conference

I was a co-captain of Freedom By Design (FBD) last year. FBD is a non-profit student group that utilizes the talent of design students, not limited to architecture students, to help those in need. Most of the clients were low-income disabled individuals in the Twin Cities. FBD is working toward creating a better and safer accessibility for individuals with disability. The projects we have done in the past were including, but not limited to, creating ramps, making benches for a community center, and redesign the interior of a fitness center.

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(left) me, fixing the wall at one of FBD build events, (milddle) FBD volunteers installing grab bars for a client, (right) 2011 FBD design charette

Recently, I got a Research Assistant position with the Center for World Heritage Studies. Research is also a great way to get involved on campus. If you have a topic that you are interested in, be sure to get in touch with a professor early and check out the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

There are more than 700 student groups on campus, not including other involvement opportunities such as research, volunteer, and on-campus employment. Check out the Office for Student Engagement for the endless opportunities. The more involved you are, the more comfortable you will be at the U.

See you next blog,
Beau s.
Architecture B.D.A.

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