Sweat more in training so that you’ll bleed less in battle – this gladiator quote holds true for every warrior. This mentality is one that creates one of the strongest and powerful men for war. Metaphorically, choosing Architecture as a course for study may not be as equally comparable as to war, but it sure is a course that asks the students to be their best and the strongest versions (mentally, physically, and otherwise) of themselves to smoothly sail through the academics. To prepare the gladiator students for this difficult battle, what better time to practice and learn a few skills than before joining the course. Avengers thinking of joining an Architecture course could assemble themselves with some skills (both academic and life skills) that will definitely help them in their academic life.

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Image Sources: Surviving Architecture Colleges © Inhabitat

1. Food:

Take some cooking classes and learn a few stomach-filling dishes that’ll help you when your midnight hunger strikes while you’d be fretting over those late submissions. Tea, Coffee, and Maggie noodles is a must. Learn a few favorite dishes that you can cook and pamper yourselves to help with the frustrating end semester weeks. Maybe you could show off some cooking skills and impress your friends (or date) as well. This skill is a must and will definitely come in handy during most of the academic life.

2. Daily chores and survival skills:

Simply managing your own workspace and your ‘habitat’ by keeping it clean and tidy will be the best habit one can pick up before joining this course. The neat and sanitized environment will always help you to be in an enthusiastic mood and set your work mood. Learning other necessary skills of survival like managing your clothes, daily chores, and other work routines is a boost to your productivity.

3. Broke and frugal:

Unless you are Bill Gates or Warren Buffet kind of rich and don’t really give a damn about every single penny spent, be prepared mentally and physically to live a student life – both broke and frugal in every sense of life. Be it your lifestyle, quality of food, clothes you wear, or the entertainment you feed yourself with, everything shall go for a toss when architectural expenses come into the picture and you have to manage it on a given budget. Forget those weekend parties and occasional fancy restaurant meals or those exclusive clothes and special hair treatments, paying all your basic stationery bill for the month would be the best you could manage in a budget.

4. Sense of Humor:

A sense of humor will be your best bet to tackle any adversity or any unfortunate situations that are thrown your way. Words of wisdom are that there’ll be plenty of such situations one would tackle during this time. Be it numerous assignment redo, last-minute submissions, never-ending corrections list, endless feedback from faculty, needless feedback from friends and classmates, the constant drama of life and anything in between or beyond this image, many lemons will be thrown and it’s the sense of humor that will help it make it into a lemonade. Having a sensible, humorous, and chilled out attitude will go a long way.

5. Multi-tasking:

If you are a multi-tasker and can handle multiple jobs at a given time, good for you. If you are the kind of person who likes to focus on one task at a time, brace yourself for some turbulent situations when you would have to juggle between multiple tasks. Both sides of the brain would be in a constant tussle whether to give in to the aesthetics or settle for the economic sensibility of a project while you’re still figuring out the concept and zoning on the tracing paper. Multi-tasking is the default option for many architectural students and preparing for it can be useful.

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Image Sources:  An architect’s multi-tasking life ©www.freepik.com

6. Marketing and Networking:

Two skills that will be important and can define how smoothly you sail through the academics is a) how well you can sell your idea and b) how strong your networking skills are. Selling your idea is the ultimate test of the designing skills and if there’s no buyer of the idea, then all your hard work and dedication go down the drain. Be it your faculty, jury, interviewee, friends, family, or any stranger if your idea is not easily visible and digestible, it is difficult for one to sail through the semesters. Networking is equally important and one of the necessary life skills that help in later stages of academic life. Positive relations with faculty, friends, classmates, juniors, and seniors alike are always a good sign for any student. From falling back on friends for last-minute help to asking for good recommendations from the faculty, good networking can define your academic innings. Though it is strongly discouraged to not make any back deals with the juniors or seniors for submissions and assignments.

7. Daydreaming and Imagining:

One of the most striking design ideas will come in one of the most unthoughtful situations and it is important to think and dream about the design projects each and every single second of the day. In the middle of a shower, while driving on a free-way, while having lunch/dinner and of course in the dreams of peaceful naps, the sudden occurrence of such brilliant moments is just the way one would work through projects and semesters. Start daydreaming more and you’ll have your designs finished well before the semester ends.

8. Start observing and understanding:

To become a better architecture student, one must start observing and understanding the subtle things that are said or unsaid/ seen or unseen. For example, “Go figure out for yourself” will be one of the most common feedback from the faculty and people around you, and understanding and comprehending the meaning of it is the real art. Understanding and observing minute details of why, how, and what of everything is a difficult yet important skill set one must gain. Before joining the course, one must inculcate in themselves the attitude of observing and understanding the tiniest functions of everything.

9. Start asking questions:

Whether to actually understand the different concepts of architecture or just to casually irritate any friend or faculty, just ask questions. Weird questions, random questions, curious questions, factual questions, questions of any type. Ask questions and enlighten yourself with all the worldly knowledge because that’s what you are there for right? Don’t be the shy kid sitting in the corner having no clue about what’s going on or that type of kid sitting in the last bench making fun of everything. Instead, be that shy kid sitting in the last bench yet asking a ton of questions and figuring out the nuances of this field. Just start asking.

10. Be confident:

Confidence is the key to success. This mantra will help you in building your positive character and portray you as a strong leader. Knowing all the positives and negatives and backing one’s skills can help you glide through any difficult situation. Prepare yourself for the nerve-wracking awkward situations during juries and interviews. Your confidence will be the key to the way you respond to such situations.

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