If the idea of bringing dreams to life through designing and construction fascinates you, a course in architecture is your calling.
But architecture is not just about making beautiful buildings. It requires a lot of research and logistics to create something that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
And like every other degree or course out there, architecture can also become a hard nut to crack. Think hour-long classes, overnight projects, and last-minute assignments.
But fret not. With the following techniques and habits of architecture students that have succeeded time and time again, you will nail the subject… literally!
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
How to Create Good Study Habits?
Old habits die hard. Thus, making big changes in your routine requires a lot of effort and motivation. Whether you start a diet plan, take the first dip during swimming lessons, or read the first page of your coursebook- taking the first step is the biggest challenge.
Thus, before we dig into some studying tips and tricks, let’s learn how to create a study schedule and stick to it.
Step 1 – Make a Study Space
Now, you don’t have to have a dedicated study room at home, filled with thick books, expensive stationery, and high-end furniture. You can either pick a well-lit corner at home or walk to the nearest library- whatever floats your boat.
But ensure that the area is quiet and away from distractions, so you can remain focused throughout.
Once you choose a study space, use it only for studying. That way, your mind and body will associate the area with studying, and not wander off while you try to memorize mathematical equations!
Step 2 – Follow a Schedule
Consistency is key when trying to develop a habit (especially a boring one like studying!).
Thus, it is important to set a study schedule and follow it every day. No ifs, no buts! If you want to keep some time aside for hobbies or to hang out with friends, plan them according to your study routine.
Like the previous step, doing this also helps your mind get into the zone whenever it’s time to study. Choose a time when you feel the most energetic, for example, early in the morning, anytime after a shower, or late at night with a cup of coffee!
Step 3 – Organize Your Books and Stationery
Your study table should have all that you need without being too cluttered. So, besides your books, notebooks, stationery, calculator, and laptop (if required), everything else must go!
A decluttered area will prevent you from losing focus and ensure that you study with full concentration.
Step 4 – Cut Distractions
Adding to the previous point, anything that distracts you should be kept away from the study table and preferably out of the study room. If that’s not possible, keep it in your bag or a high shelf- anywhere that’s difficult to access.
So, your phone, comic books, snacks, etc., should be kept away. Of course, you should take snack breaks but avoid devouring a packet of chips while you study.
Step 5 – Find Your Groove
Developing habits can be difficult, more so if you are trying to adopt someone else’s method that does not suit you. Everyone has different preferences, mindsets, thinking capacities, and more. Thus, it makes sense if your friend focuses better on silence while you prefer studying with music.
So, experiment with different studying techniques and stick to the one which works best for you.
Techniques & Studying Habits of Architecture Students
Whether you are revising for the next class or preparing for the year-end exam, here are some fool-proof studying techniques that will help you sail through.
Revise Your Classwork
Contrary to popular belief, when the professor asks you to read pages 250-255, it does not mean “No Homework!” The more you read (and repeat), the better you will retain the freshly learned knowledge.
So, try skimming through whatever you read and wrote right after the class gets over. It only takes a few minutes but helps a ton in keeping your memory fresh. Similarly, revise the previous lesson or do some extra reading right before class.
Also, a lot of things you remember are usually from auditory learning, so pay attention during class.
Use the Internet, but Wisely!
Deciding whether the internet is a bane or a boon for students will start a never ending debate. However, tons of successful students advocate for using the internet to gain knowledge and increase productivity.
Just think about it. It’s a whole library within the palm of our hands! You can find essays, research papers, forums, video tutorials, productivity apps, and much more.
We recommend logging out of your SNS accounts while using your phone to study to avoid getting distracted by notifications.
Joining a study group in a new school or university may sound intimidating. But once you sign up, you’ll eventually become more productive and remain motivated to study, and not push everything to the last minute.
Study groups are specifically beneficial for weaker students who may not understand a particular concept at one go. That’s when they can seek help from group members and even study with them for better understanding.
This also helps gain a deeper insight as you discover different points of view, theories, and findings. And by being surrounded by hard working students, you will be able to prevent procrastination more effectively. Plus, who doesn’t like making new friends?
Jot It Down
Writing notes, preparing flashcards, etc., will not only help you memorize better but also act as study material during exam season. Since you’ll be writing down all that you’ve learned in an easier, conversational tone, it’ll be much faster to grasp while revising.
Have an exam next month and haven’t even started studying? Instead of worrying and dreading the exam date, start studying with a fresh mind. If you don’t have enough time to go through all the topics, be realistic, select a few important points, and focus on them.
Stressing over exams will only hamper your memory, which may reflect on your scores. So, stay positive and face the challenge head-on!
Habits of Successful Architecture Students
Lastly, let’s take a look at some habits of successful students that you can adopt to bag that degree!
Say No to All-nighters
With a majority of night owls out there, many would disagree with this point. But sleep is important, and following your body’s clock helps you stay refreshed and focused.
Plus, pulling an all-nighter is mostly counter-productive, especially in subjects like architecture, where you need inspiration, and loads of it!
Learn to Consider and Ignore Criticism
While the phrase sounds contradicting, hear us out. Taking every criticism seriously will only diminish your self-esteem and demotivate you to get that degree.
Remember that architecture is a subjective field. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. So, acknowledge constructive criticism but ignore unnecessarily harsh comments. Be proud of your creations!
Stay Updated With Building Codes
This is something architecture students consider only in the fourth year. However, successful students swear by learning the building codes beforehand and keeping tabs on amendments, if any.
We understand that not everyone is a bibliophile. So, why not try starting your day with just 2-3 pages of your favorite novel? Besides your course books, try reading science fiction, history, sociology, or the local newspaper. Not only will you learn something new, but this reading practice will help you remain focused during long study sessions.
And since you will be required to attend non-architecture classes as well to score a high GPA, it only helps widen your knowledge on different subjects.
Join extra-curricular clubs in college. Just anything that’ll force you to step outside your usual environment and connect with new people.
Other than students, we recommend meeting your professors and tutors, too. Trust us; they won’t bite!
Enjoy Some “Me” Time!
While attending classes and studying regularly should be at the top of your schedule, don’t forget to spare some time for yourself. Pursue a hobby, learn a new language, or enroll in a gym. Or, if you don’t have enough money to invest in extra hobbies and classes, simply head out for a walk.
And if you are on a deadline, try to squeeze in some leisure time on the weekend. Even if it’s just an hour of catching up on your favorite Netflix series, it’ll go a long way in rejuvenating your mind.
Eat Healthy, Stay Hydrated
A healthy mind and a healthy body work hand-in-hand to make you succeed. So, opt for cleaner and greener food items, especially during study breaks. Sugary foods may give you an instant boost of energy, only to make you tired in the next couple of hours.
We suggest salads, nuts, fruit juice, and more. Top it off with a cup or two of coffee to keep yourself charged throughout the day, but don’t go overboard with caffeine.
These techniques and studying habits of architecture students are largely common for other fields of study as well. Picking up these tips and tricks early on will not just help crack that exam, but also teach you to stay organized and keep your memory sharp.
With that, we come to the end of this brief architecture school survival kit. Remember- study smarter, not harder!