Architecture is not an easy department— I had been told that before joining, but I always shook it off. “It can’t be as hard as they make it seem to be. I mean, I’m used to pulling all-nighters,” I’d think to myself. If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my three years of studying, it’s that it requires a lot of sacrifices and putting your work as a priority where it begins to become a part of you.
Learn to use CAD programs (2D/3D)
Although using any software programs is prohibited during the first two years, it is still essential to have a bit of background to it. And no, the course taught during university is not enough. Try taking an extra course outside or watching YouTube tutorials here and there. The faster you learn them, the less you struggle. I have to admit that it is hard to learn and perfect all those shortcuts within a summer before the year of needing them.
You don’t learn everything
Education at university barely compares to the knowledge you’d need. It is a matter of 40% by 60%— where majority of the work would be on you. Researching about a project before beginning is a crucial step that is majorly neglected. Overall, what I mean is that what they teach you in college will not be enough to be secured when you are in the world of work. In the meantime, you’ll have to experiment and gain knowledge outside of the courses.
Sleepless nights— even up to a week
Time management is the key to architecture life and it’s something every student has a struggle with. Since we have too many requirements and such little time, sleepless days would be forced upon us and it would even begin to look as though sleep is your enemy.
Weekends and holidays are no longer a time to relax
I can’t remember the last weekend I had where I would sit mindlessly on my phone. It’s a hectic process— even working endlessly on both days could result in not getting the work done on time. To mention, Christmas break is not even a break since submissions would be right after what consist of sleepless days. In addition to that, a New Year’s outing would consist of a maximum of three hours— which is, in fact, a lot.
No social life
There’s simply no time. I’d have plans I should cancel the next day because I had realized that I would not be able to finish if I wasted one second. However, a coffee hangout would still do the trick— it’s still important to take a break so that you can make a fresh restart and be bombarded with new ideas.
With architecture, it’s something completely normal for a day to come where you rethink your entire existence and the path you chose. It gets hard where only dropping out would seem to be the perfect solution. Especially after criticism from your professor. This is how it is. Been there. Done that. You have to remind yourself every so often of your goals and your ambitions— it is a tough road.
Backaches and posture
Crouching and bending over while working on models or plans for hours straight could lead to great damage on your back. Straightening your back every couple hour is an important reminder to keep up with.
By: Mina Arjuman Hashim