Architecture: Things you need to know before going to school for architecture

About a 3 minute read.

My whole life I have been building, crafting, and designing things. So it was no surprise in high school when I joined a few clubs and took architecture classes to jump-start that passion.

The best club ever was ‘ACE‘ – Architecture, Construction, and Engineering. If you haven’t heard of it, google it and check it out in your area! I received a scholarship three years in a row for simply signing up and participating during the sessions!

I was blessed to know exactly what I wanted to go to school for, but some just don’t know! And, I am here to tell you that’s okay! I’d much rather a high school senior tell me “I have interest in A, B, and C, but I would like to learn more about these areas on campus, and then make a final decision after my first year.” Rather than just simply wasting one year of time, supplies, and money on something you had no interest in.

But if you are thinking about ‘the architecture field’ here are a few things to keep in mind prior to checking ‘architecture‘ on that application.

  1. You will need supplies!

1.1 This is probably the biggest shock EVER! Imagine me sitting at the oversized drawing tables on my first day with all of my #2 pencils and drawing pads, only to discover we need 2B, 4B, 6B, 2H, 4H, and 6H pencils, glue, and trash paper; just to name a few. I had NO IDEA we needed all of these other supplies! When I asked my neighbor, he said his father was an architect, so he already knew what he needed! A few essentials include an architectural scale, ’tissue roll paper’, wood glue, tape, an EXACTO knife, a cutting mat, a ruler, and a 10″ and 12″ triangle. If I were you, I would just do one big Hobby Lobby haul for all of your supplies! Don’t forget your 40% coupon!!

And this will be ongoing… and by this, I mean buying supplies. You will most likely be at Hobby Lobby twice a month for wood, glue, or trash paper.


2. You WILL pull a few ‘all nighters’.

With most architecture buildings being open for 24 hours, that should be plenty of time to build a model right?! WRONG! You never know when your creative juices will kick it. It was the norm for us to stay in the building all night; especially if it was #FinalsSeasons. The main benefit was being around other creatives to help give critique… and to be as messy as you wanted; without having to clean up right away. Towards the end of my collegiate career, the staff even opened the computer lab overnight! This was like being in heaven because it saved us from having to download extra software to our computer.

3. You WILL be presenting your projects to professionals.

If you have a fear of public speaking, you better get over that fast because there aren’t too many written tests in your primary architecture classes. Your test is usually working on your project, and presenting it to architecture professionals, the entire class, and maybe even the dean. So, I hope you know this project well because your grade will depend on it! If you need a little help with this, present to a close friend and let them give you advice on how you could do better.

4. Stay involved and get connected.

Networking is key! I joined every organization there was! I wanted to learn new things, meet new people, and volunteer! I even went on 3 different trips with one of our organizations all expenses paid! These organizations are run by professionals in your field, so why wouldn’t you want to join them?! I usually took those opportunities to pick their brain about anything that was confusing to me in the architecture world. They would even connect me to others in the field.

To all of my colleagues who went to school for architecture, what is your best piece of advice for any upcoming freshman?! Comment below!




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