I swear every architecture student says this at least once before graduating, most probably by the first month of the first year! Are you waiting to join your architecture school? You love to draw and hate mugging up theories, and that brings you here? Are you excited to begin the five-year-long journey of long nights, extreme emotions, and baggage of awards and scrap?
“I wish someone had told me this!”
Well, this is for you! You might not have to say that statement of regret, maybe!
1. Your sleep routine is going for a toss!
Were you that kid in high school who sleeps early at ten and wakes up early at six, meditate for half an hour, have a bath, enjoy that bread and jam melt in your tongue, and still have more than ten minutes for your bus to arrive? Well, not anymore! How great a procrastinator you are, it’s hardly going to help you, either! Oh, you will get six hours sleep for sure, per week though! Don’t worry, you can sleep it all off in your weekends or vacations (in your dreams). And when you get a week for Christmas or Diwali, your eyes will throw tantrums to not close to sleep. By the end of it, you will have a unique sleep pattern, as weird as a 20 minutes power nap in the afternoon or a three-hour crawl in the bed in the evening after lectures. So, polish the fiercest owl in you!
2. Get your travel bags ready, wandering is definite!
Heard architecture students travel all the time, from one place to another? You heard it right, it’s named differently though, as case studies, site visits, and survey rounds. Get your bag ready, with sketchbooks, pens, pencils, and a large 50m measuring tape. Forgetting your hygiene kit or an extra set of underwear is fine, but no excuses for leaving beside your site plan with a bold north of the right top corner. Apart from that, experiencing cultures, buildings, and people are bound to stay for a lifetime. Wherever you pursue, every place has an unknown myriad of landscapes and stories within easy reach. Let the wanderlust in you! Nothing is more practical than site visits in teaching you the professional side of the course, hence stay open to comments and observations. Also, travel a little on your own, it works well in your job resumes.
3. Your dictionary is bound to be one of its kind, hence get ready!
You might even get into conflicts debating over the meaning of a word, with yourself in the first years with your mates from the other departments in the following years. From balance to unity, from rhythm to scale and from sun path to wind direction, the meaning of every single word changes as you move through the architectural student life.
4. Repeating the same activity for an umpteenth time is not anymore called imposition.
Your teachers can ask to redo your project for a reason, probably illogical and invalid to you! You might have put your sweat and blood into it and how it feels when everything ends into nothing. Terrible, right? But, take this from me people, expectations hurt! Steel yourself to do that simple-looking collage or that ABCD lettering work a dozen times.
5. Befriending seniors!
Unlike any other course, the lectures and libraries can only teach you half of the curriculum. The rest lies in the hands of your beloved seniors. It all begins with horrible to funny experiences culminating in fresh and compassionate relationships with the older ones out there. They rag you in the first year, tease you in the second, mock you in the third, befriend in the fourth and turn everything from family to friend by the final year. Hence, keep your classmates close, but your seniors closer!
6. Those marks can give you a shock for life!
Were you the high school topper with ninety percent in all subjects posing in those flex boards in front of your school gate? Your life is on for a metamorphosis, from the 90s to the 10s and 20s, and yet being content. It does hurt even more if you were that irreplaceable champion at school, and all you get in the studios are zeroes and ones, or a two if you are pretty lucky! No tension champs, marks are a myth in architecture and as the years pass, those and twos taste a lot sweeter than the 80s and 90s, I swear!
7. Don’t be late on your first day! Just don’t!
There isn’t a worse crime than being late on your first day to the studio. You come late, you’ll have to beg for permission with a ‘May I come in Sir’, he will ask you for your name and the rest is history. Those names are glued to their memories, and however hard you try, getting into their good books hereafter wouldn’t be a walk in the park.
8. Don’t buy everything they say!
Those long stationary lists you get on the orientation day have half of the never-to-be-used stuff and what-is-it-for tools! Purchase with a wise mind and pocket instead of spending everything from the pennies for a tea to the house documents in a stationary store! Ask the pass-outs, they still have unused items in that archi-suitcase whose existence is still null to them! Instead, have a beer or two, or at the least get a yum Maggi and gobble it in!
9. Begin sketching out every tree and dog!
You have no way out of this as sketching is thinking in architecture. A tree over there, sketch it! A dog bit you on your knee, doodling it with the wound scar prominent. Or a pretty face in the class, capture the beauty into your notebook, and probably get a date too! You are weak in painting, start washing your sheets. Still not content then, make a classic monochrome of black to grey to beige to white, making it look intended and not forced!
10. The internet can be your lifesaver.
As for architecture students, the web is a heavenly destination after weeks of procrastination when you have a deadline to meet the next day. You might never forget a few of them ever in your lives, from Pinterest to Slideshare, from Archdaily to Dezeen! Well, for that matter, keep us in your minds; we may turn to be your friend in need once in danger!