6 Life Tips for the Starting Architecture Student



Is there a life outside of school?  I think so.  I think there should be, because life is about balance and not all about school or work.

#1 Keep your eye on the prize

Today one of my classmates was surprised because she found a note on her desk.  It was a very upbeat positive note, “Keep your eye on the prize.”

I think this summarizes the frustrations I’m having with architecture as a first year student.

Studio professors are teaching us process work, indicating that the process is more important than the final answer.  Regarding this I have to agree because art is a much more abstract concept with many, many different answers (compared to a more technical subject like mathematics), and therefore college education should be training you how to think, not what to think..


If there’s one catch phrase for GRIT, it’s this.

Rather than getting nervous about the future, learn to anticipate it but don’t get frustrated over it.  Life’s too short for a million worries anyway.

Keep your eye on the prize.

#2 In some ways, your non-architecture high school friends are just as important as your architecture friends

Wanna know why?  Kelly Williams Brown says it perfectly in her Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps:

There is a very finite number of people in the world with whom you can honestly say you’ve been best friends forever, so that small handful of people is tremendously valuable.

Her whole section on Friendship is nothing short of awesome.  Actually her whole book is awesome and I totally recommend it wholeheartedly for people learning to come in terms with their college and young adult-becoming-an-adult phase of life.

#3 Stop consuming, start creating

There is a balance between consuming information and learning to create your own.  A lot of my classmates use sites like pinterest and Tumblr as sources of inspiration. However, I find after a while of looking through the images I become paralyzed at what I want to do.  I get overloaded by trying to emulate the existing projects rather than creating something that is exactly my own.  I’m still working at trying to develop a balance between the two (ie, should you look for examples before or after you’ve come up with your concept?) but I’ve come to realize that finding your own voice is inescapably important.


#4. Respect yourself and your body

Get 7-8 hours of sleep.  Drink lots of water; keep your body hydrated.  Eat more fruits and vegetables.  See the world with a wide-eyes sense of wonder, the glass as half-full kind of optimism.

#5. Live well

Learn to reflect on the past, but not to beat ourselves over it.  Use the past as a springboard for the future, not as a source of anguish and punishment for ourselves.

So, that’s all I have for now!  Not an exhaustive list, but like other things with life, it’s important to get started 🙂


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