This blog is a bit of an odd one – you’ll see soon enough. This is also me ranting, so take it with a pinch of salt.
It should also be mentioned that this post is particularly aimed at persons not studying either Architectural Technology (B.Tech. incl.), Interior Design (B.Tech incl.) or Architecture OR persons who do study the aforementioned and is in 1st year or maybe a very naive 2nd year – bless your souls.
Have you ever listened to a song’s lyrics and thought to yourself:
“hey, this is exactly like my situation” OR
“shit, someone (might as well be Karma) is seeing my life right now”?
I know I have!
I was pondering around YouTube the other day and stumbled across one particular song – Meet Me in The Woods by Lord Huron.
Now it probably should also be said that when one gets this feeling or epiphany if you will, the song normally doesn’t have anything to do with what you relate it to. In this case, there are theories what it actually means, varying from a figurative (emotional/spiritual) slump to literal dark woods – I’m not interested in any meaning I’ve read up to this point.
Here’s how I saw and still see the song (it’s become a little joke at this point among some of the B.Tech. students):
This song to me and anyone who’s gone through the treacherous and soul-shattering path (even those hearing this for the first time) is about the journey from START to FINISH within Building 8 (view previous posts for Building 8 context). Lets analyse:
I took a little journey to the UNKNOWN And I come back changed, I can feel it in my bones I fucked with forces that our eyes can't see Now the darkness got a hold on me Holy Darkness got a hold on me
*curtains open* *enter naive 1st year unaware of the suffering that lies ahead*
First day, first year, first class – that was your little journey to what you thought you knew about studying in Building 8 – oh how foolish we’ve all been. Looking back at that moment that journey was completely and utterly UNKNOWN.
Then a few month go by, maybe a year and you change – emotionally, spiritually, mentally and yes sometimes (in most cases) even physically for better and/or for worse. You know you’ve changed and if you’re that person saying “no, I’ve never changed, it’s same ‘ol me”, hit me up, I’ve got a great shrink you can go to. To be honest I doubt any of us were expecting to be dragged around like rag dolls but then again, we fu*#@d with forces that we couldn’t even see.
*enter the Big Black Cloud*
Now this Big Black Cloud, that we call ‘life in Building 8’, hovers over you and follows you around like the lovechild of anxiety/stress and sadness (personified). This cloud eventually catches you – no matter how fast you run.
*exit paranoid and dishevelled student* *curtain closes*
How long, baby, have I been away? It feels like ages, though you say it's only days There ain't language for the things I've seen And the truth is stranger than my own worst dreams The truth is stranger than all my dreams Holy darkness got a hold on me
*curtain opens* *enter paranoid and dishevelled student*
It’s awkward once you start to work in Building 8 more often how you lose track of time, date and everything around you. You’ll find yourself asking your friends and family how long you’ve been away from home, your flat or apartment. You lose track of reality entirely for long periods of time – hence the absolute confusion when returning to the place you once knew so well.
You can also take it as the time of being “away” as your studying period (3-6 years). If so, it will feel like decades where in reality it is only a short 3-6 years – maybe it sounds long for some, but with regards to a lifetime it really isn’t a very long time. LITERALLY, there are no words in the English language to explain what happens in Building 8 (sure you can try – I have). Once you’re through with this building, nothing will surprise you – NOTHING.
You see it all, from people bathing with a cloth at the sink of the bathroom to ‘Flat Earth Theorists’ to culturally confused individuals to chain-smokers to borderline alcoholics (and yes even the legend himself, K – only some will get this). Once gone through the experience (sometimes privilege) of witnessing these people, the truth starts to float into your acceptance that this is no dream. The truth is stranger than all your dreams, little naive beams of light.
*curtain closes* *exit student – pondering about life choices made*
I have seen what the darkness does (Say goodbye to who I was) I ain't never been away so long (Don't look back, them days are gone) Follow me into the endless night (I can bring your fears to life) Show me yours and I'll show you mine (Meet me in the woods tonight)
*curtain opens* *enter experienced student*
After some time spent in this building (minimum to end of 2nd year), you’ll realise what the “darkness does” and you’ll have to say goodbye to the old you, as the old you would never make it so far (you have to adapt in order to survive).
You’ll also feel like this was the longest period of an educational tier (tertiary) for you where in retrospect its actually short comparing to school (and in some cases it is the shortest of the three tiers of education). Not looking back, Jack, cause “them days are gone” – you’ve become part of this place and as a result you’ve also become part of the Big Black Cloud
Acting as the Big Black Cloud, you urge others to join you in this “journey” and follow you “into the endless night” (quite literally) assuring a frightful path to the end.
As I’m doing now, you might try to explain the naivety to the inexperienced, right before persuading them to meet you “in the woods tonight” (a lovely – or not – allusion to the evident evening culture of Building 8)
*curtain closes* *exit veteran dark cloud*
Now it’s entirely up to you whether or not you choose to believe these words. It should also be emphasised that this is in no means a way to dissuade students from joining in on this journey. The changes that one undergoes is mostly positive and the changes that are negative are only temporary. The positive changes — enhanced mental strength, patience, determination, emotional growth and the rare skill of not dying from a lack of sleep with an average of 5 hours/day — will stay.
As it turns out, it’s not so bad being a Big Black Cloud – you’re quite beautiful there in the sky. This was my little early morning rant – I got triggered by the song, it is UNCANNY.