How to Survive Architecture School | 5 Tips from an Architect
So, you just started a new semester of architecture school? Congratulations! Here are some practical tips to help you survive your time in school and actually enjoy it!
1. Get busy with something outside of school
It's easy to get sucked into the architecture world and not do anything outside school. However, remember to have a life outside of school because it will make you a more focused student. Sports, work, hobbies, and other outlets allow you to work on school methodically and create discipline in your schedule.
2. Learn the software - even outside of the classroom
Read all about my thoughts on architecture software here.
3. Do NOT pull all-nighters - create realistic schedules
You will have to work with realistic timelines in the real world, so use this time in school to learn how to do this. Develop a schedule and remember how to adhere to it; this is just as important as developing an incredible model for studio. If you can master this, it will set you (and your projects) far ahead of those who have yet to learn this.
4. Collaborate and learn from your peers
When you're in architecture school, you are surrounded by incredible minds. Use this time to learn from one another and be inspired by others' talents. You'll learn from your professors and the projects you're working on, but sometimes you'll know even more from the person sitting next to you.
5. Have fun! Get creative, take chances, and be bold.
It's your chance to showcase your talent without budget or client restrictions. School is an opportunity to build a portfolio of work you actually want to do. When you start working at a firm, you will design based on what they are looking for, what fits within the scope of work, client needs, and budget. So, you're not often designing your dream project or what you would want to showcase in your portfolio. The best way to get your dream job or land your ideal clients in the future is to showcase the types of projects that those clients/jobs want. So, use this time in school to develop those.
You might still need to learn your style, so use this time in school to explore this. Don't just find one style you like your first quarter and stick with that the entire time; explore something different and try new things. You might end up surprising yourself! If you find yourself constantly restricting yourself to a grid, then on your next project, break that mold. It's usually then that you find your true talent.