DITL – Day in the Life of a BLA at UGA! – Catherine Arnold, 3rd Year BLA

No ones’ days are busier than those of landscape architecture students. Not only are they long but they are filled with work. This may sound rather intimidating and difficult, but in reality the hours are very fulfilling and productive. However, to make this work level sustainable, I really had to master the art of time management this year.


Typically my day begins at 7:20 AM. I wake up, get ready, and pack lots of snacks and a lunch for the long day ahead. Once packed with lunchbox, computer, and backpack in hand, I begin my trek to JSB (Jackson Street Building, home to Landscape Architecture at UGA). This walk is my time to decompress and get ready for the day ahead. Athens is quiet and peaceful at this time of day; I get to see a town waking up, students heading to class, and some just heading home from a long night of studying. Once at JSB, I have my engineering class. I spend the next 2 hours working in AutoCAD and by hand on grading problems, calculating stormwater runoff, and other useful class projects and workbook pages. As soon as I finish engineering, I try to do any homework we have for that class since I tend to be in the “engineering zone” at that point. However, sometimes I’m all engineered out by 9:55 AM and, instead, use my next hour and 20 minutes to either work on projects for my afternoon studio, to study for our history class, or, if really tired, to nap on the benches in JSB.

After this break I head upstairs to lecture for our History of the Built Environment class. Here I spend the next 55 minutes writing down notes as fast as possible, trying my best to catch every word Professor McDonald has to share. As soon as this class is over, I retreat back downstairs with my friends to microwave our food and eat lunch either in studio or behind JSB on gorgeous, sunny days. If I have a project due in my next class, some days I will use this time to put the finishing touches on a project or print out my final copy.Other days I type up my notes from history so I can send them to the students I take notes for.


Once this hour-long respite ends, I return back to the grind for the next three hours in studio. Here I work at my desk while seeking advice from and offering advice to my fellow classmates. I also await my time for a desk crit (critique) with Professor Cook so I can get his opinion before proceeding any farther. After working non-stop for three hours, I finally get to head back home for a little bit.

While at home, I let myself take a break for about an hour or so. Most days I like to decompress with an episode of a TV show (right now it’s Private Practice). Then I cook myself some dinner and get ready to go to my Honors Program Student Council meetings, which take place every Monday. These typically last an hour or so, during which I lead my service committee through the upcoming events and make sure all our ducks are in a row for the next time we meet.

Finally, after making it back to my apartment, I get to finish whatever homework is left and go to bed. I never appreciated sleep as much as I do now that I am in this major. Though my days are busy and fast-paced, I get to climb in bed every night feeling satisfied and accomplished and ready for the new day ahead.