Being undergraduate student means, among other things, you have to get used to work in a project group. The 'freedom' to come up with a self-described sub-theme within the current main theme is generally taken as a plight and a project by itself.
One of the tasks is to shrink gigantic broad themes to a more manageable size (in some cases only partially successful). Another task leads in the opposite direction: putting ideas into a wider perspective.
Here project-group students prepare themselves for the practical work after their graduation. So they have to be pushed to do 'unpractical' things – like "how to adjust everything you make to your own opinion". The best preparation to survive in the agencies, ateliers and bureau's (and everywhere else) is to know what you want. The question how you do it, and with which tools, is just a part of that.