Architecture graduate inspired to create

MARIETTA, Ga. | May 15, 2020

For thousands of Kennesaw State students each semester, graduation represents a defining moment. It is an opportunity to reflect on their entire educational journey - the mentors they found, the friendships they made and the opportunities they seized. In recognition of that, we are spotlighting students who are completing their final semester at KSU. Marysia LaRosa, who is earning a degree in architecture, shares in her own words what made KSU the perfect fit.

Marysia LaRosa

Do you know that feeling when you graduate high school and are overwhelmed by the weight of the decision to pick a career path immediately, sometimes with no knowledge of any profession?

I do.

My journey at Kennesaw State University began as a dual enrollment student my senior year of high school. I grew up in Acworth, only about a 15-minute drive from the Kennesaw Campus. My parents and I both decided that splitting this time would be a great way to become acclimated to the college environment while still enjoying my senior year of high school. Throughout that year, I started to really love Kennesaw State not only for its incredible growth potential and resources, but also how it would offer me the chance to remain close to my friends and family.  

Finding A Fit

After graduating high school in 2015, there was one thing that made me extremely anxious: choosing a major. I knew I had interests and skills in a variety of subjects, but none of those “fit” into a certain degree at KSU. It wasn’t until I heard the news that KSU would consolidate with Southern Polytechnic State University that something urged me to check the major list on the KSU website. I started at the top of the list under “A,” where architecture appeared. I clicked on the College of Architecture and Construction Management and saw there was two days left to register for the “Summer Design Workshop.” I had no idea what this was, but it was required in order to start taking classes in the Fall. So, like any eager incoming college freshmen, I ran to my mom with the news, and without hesitation she said I could sign up.

I was very nervous the first day not knowing anyone at all or what architecture really was. Eventually, we were placed in studios with about 12 students and an assigned professor. This structure mimics how the program is organized and was meant to familiarize ourselves with this non-traditional class environment. The next three weeks would be spent creating models, drawing, having reviews and meeting friends. In that time frame, I started to discover talents and qualities in myself I didn’t know I had, and I knew that architecture was the answer I had been looking for.

Discovering Opportunity

Since that workshop, I have had the most incredible college experience. When people ask me about it, I am mostly speechless because the KSU architecture program has impacted my life on so many levels. Those friends I mentioned meeting in workshop are some of my best friends five years later. What I love most about my class is that there are 46 of us, which makes us close to other another. Some of my best memories have been in the studio around my classmates. The studio environment is dynamic, not always serious and flowing with creativity. I love having my own desk in studio to create and work on assignments. I wish students of all majors could experience this type of classroom.

Through our department, I have had opportunities to travel to cities around the country on Archi-tours, attend conferences, and participate in numerous lectures and exhibitions with prestigious professionals. I have also been a member of the American Institute of Architecture Students, which has allowed me to be a part of an organization and grow professionally.  

The Road Ahead

Architecture has not always been easy; some of the most challenging moments I’ve had to face were at that studio desk. When I first began, I was not very confident in my work or ability to perform. There were times when I even felt like giving up. Now, I have discovered my strengths, rebuilt my confidence, and am eager to transition into the real-world following graduation. While it is unfortunate that my fifth year has been interrupted by COVID-19 in the middle of my thesis, I am optimistic for my future, and I have taken this time to reflect on my fond memories I have made at Kennesaw State University. I will whole heartedly cherish the people I’ve met, experiences I have had and knowledge I have acquired while at this institution forever.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit