When I was in middle school I decided that I wanted to pursue my career in Architecture. In middle school and high school whenever I told my mentors or any adult in general, they all said the same thing, “Wow that’s great! Not many female architects are out there, you can get a lot of scholarships and opportunities as a female.” Hearing this motivated me even more to major in architecture. My parents weren’t sure about my decision. They were afraid that I wouldn’t be able to compete in a field with so many men, but that didn’t matter to me. I was apart of an architect program in high school where students from other schools would get together. Myself and two other girls were the only females among the 15 students in the group. I wasn’t surprised because I had been told “not many females are in this field”.
When I started my first day at Farmingdale State College as an architect student, I was hoping that I wouldn’t be the only girl because I wanted to make female friends. I didn’t want to be lonely among all the males. As an architect student I was required to take a lot of design and architecture courses as well as a few construction management field courses, which freaked me out. From past knowledge, the construction field is male dominated, so I knew from the start that I would be surrounded by males and no females.
When I started my first semester there were barely any females in my classes, maybe three or four including myself out of 25 students. In the beginning, I would just go to class and go home and struggle with the work I was given. Then, I slowly started to approach one of the girls in my class and got to know her. We got along, worked together, and helped each other. Then came a time where I was the only girl in one of my construction management classes. I didn’t know what to do but that didn’t stop me. I told myself to make some male friends. So I started to talk to the guys in my class and we exchanged numbers/emails just so I can ask for help whenever. It went perfectly well and I did great in that class even though I was the only female. Surprisingly my professor was incredible, he knew I was struggling so he would go over the material one on one during the class breaks or during his office hours. There wasn’t a time when my professor didn’t treat me like a normal student.
Later on during the beginning of my sophomore year, I got an email saying the Head Chair of Architecture department was now a female Professor, which inspired me so much. There were so many male professors and she was one of the few female professors that became the head of the department. I can go up to her whenever I need advice or any type of recommendation. She sits right where the architecture and construction departments are in Lupton Hall, which is where all of my major classes are held. In addition, my head chair would email all the students about different opportunities out in the world. She would send emails for upcoming internships or companies that are hiring or any educational opportunities.
From my freshman and sophomore years I learned that you can be a girl and still do what you want no matter how male dominated it is. Today, I know so many people in FSC with an architect major who might be helpful in my future. In other words, you can easily make friends if you just approach them. The students in my major are so friendly and we help each other out, especially when someone already took a class and if you’re struggling they’ll help you. If your peers aren’t helpful enough there’s always the faculty staff. The professors have office hours that are open to students who need extra help.
I have to say that the campus is designed so well that everything you need is right there for you. So far Farmingdale has provided me with so much experience whether it is educational for my career or entertaining for my personal life. All the equipment and software programs that FSC has continuously puts me a step further into my career. Farmingdale also makes it easy for everyone to make architecture into a career, especially because I’ve seen my fellow peers graduate with a job that FSC introduced them into. I encourage girls to take on an architect career and make the world believe that women architects do exist. I hope to see and be part of the time when women make a change in the architect world.