Architecture school is a very arduous experience, an all-new world starts to unfold where things are unknown to you. It’s a new frontier one where the terrain is unexplored. It is a gruelling process of 5 long years but let’s not worry about it because it might get (temporarily) stressful, but all this is going to be worth it for the knowledge that we gain.


The anticipation of the beginning of a new world. The myths that we have all heard – pulling all-nighters, the unmatched workaholism and the love for our Course. Even if we don’t know what we want to do we still have high dreams of achieving the next Zaha Hadid design, the next record-breaking building. Little do we know what is going to come next.

We learn the very basics of Architecture – how to use which B and H pencil for what, how to handle different stationery, how to start thinking design and much more. We get to know how to do TOPO of sheets and how to make up the concept after completing the whole project (that’s a talent by the way). We get to know how to style like a pro because after all the years where we don’t sleep or shower for three days straight we learn to do that and most importantly the creative process of doing submissions.

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Actual Lessons

Since the very first day of architecture school, it becomes evidently clear that it is all about passion. If you want to learn great things you need to be passionate about it, you need to drown in it completely to absorb its essence. Architecture requires dedication and investment and motivation as without this it is a tad bit difficult to excel in it. 

First things first, It is always good to carry a sketch pad, a few charcoal pencils and a great observing eye. This is especially important on case study trips and tours (you will be surprised to see when inspiration strikes and these things come in handy). Architecture school is much like other schools and it isn’t all about hard work, it is an immensely fun subject. Much of all projects and assignments that we do are built to enhance our design thinking and creativity. 

And it is important to mention backing up of your work while we are talking about assignments. We build models as they are immensely important to help understand the scheme of a design more than an image and we often do this to display the design of our projects better. We need to design freely and be experimental with it. We carry an abundance of creativity, resources and materials then what is holding us back right? 

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There will be times when it will be hard to come up with an actual solution to our problems and then there will be times when you think your project is your best work and you get a bad mark (this will happen quite often) but don’t let this affect your confidence. There are quite a good number of projects that will be done all throughout the course so we need to take from the positives and learn from our mistakes and most importantly we need to maintain perseverance and keep going. 

The best way to learn is to be open to criticism as you will soon realize that you will never get everyone on board with your work and opinions.

That doesn’t mean that you have got the wrong solution, or that you have missed something. It simply means that someone else’s perception is different from yours, and this should be used to your advantage.

Architecture journey is not a cakewalk and for that, we need to prepare with a strong mind and body. A healthy diet is a must and no matter how much the workload, maybe it is necessary to have a good sound sleep. After all, it is always good to declutter your mind. Now for this, it is most important to plan everything ahead of time and this is one life lesson that needs to be ardently followed in architecture school (and out of it too). You will always contemplate if you are fit for this course or not but don’t ever give up. You will always have to learn new software, don’t be afraid to ask for help and always remember that this all marks the beginning of architecture school. 

Final Words…..

You may think that the famous ‘architorture’ is unbearable all throughout those 5 years but each hurdle that you clear, it is going to bring you one step closer to fulfil your dream. All these stressful and humorous situations that we endure mould us into the best versions of ourselves. Even though Architecture School is a turbulent experience, one that almost completely kills our social life (honestly kills it completely!), all that we learn here prepares us for the innovative and integrative process of constant reinvention. It toughens us up for the personal and professional life that is ahead of us.

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Ilma Nafees is a bachelor's student pursuing Architecture from Jamia Millia Islamia. She has a deep interest in the conservation of the built heritage and the mysteries of Ancient Egypt. She believes writing an architectural content would enhance the understanding of the discipline better as architecture is the art of changing people’s life.