Ever wonder if rumors are true or not? Just try ‘em out! After being accepted into the college of architecture at Texas A&M University, I kept hearing the term ‘Hotel Langford’ (Langford is the name of the architect compound). This term implied that architect students basically lived in the studio all semester. I didn’t completely believe the term when I heard it, but was still excited to ‘try it out’. And boy did I! Let’s just say that, by the end of my first year, I whole-heartedly believed in the term Hotel Langford. So, I decided to let you in on my secret on how I survived my first year of being an architect student.
This is probably the most important thing to remember. Stock up on lots and lots of snacks and try to fit in one or two healthy options.? My entire first drawer was committed to holding snacks. Energy drinks are also a must! When it’s 3 in the morning and all the coffee shops are closed, and you don’t have time to make a dash to the vending machine, energy drinks are life savers. (Although, due to the pandemic, food and drinks are currently not allowed in studio)
2. Studio Jacket and Hat
Leave a comfy, light jacket hanging on the back of your chair or stuffed away in a drawer. When the sun sets and the AC kicks on, the studio is prone to getting cool. Also, you can pull the jacket over your head when you need to take a fifteen-minute nap. As an architect student, you may not have time to run back to your dorm, home, or apartment to wash your hair. So just keep a cap, or hat of your choice, handy so you can continue working.
3. Doggy Bed!
You may be thinking “doggy bed?What?” A doggy bed is a nice bonus to help you survive the life of an architect student.Simply slide the bed under your drawing desk and pull it out when you need a quick nap.
Studio culture is fun and loud, especially at 2 am when everyone is sleep-deprived and needs a break from drawing, cutting, gluing, and designing. But there are times when you are crunched on time and can’t afford to fool around with your friends. So, bring a pair of earphones and turn on your favorite jam to keep your spirits lifted while you work.
5. Every Charger You Own
There are times when you won’t leave studio for a long, long time, so make sure you bring the chargers for your laptop, phone, tablet, and Bluetooth earphones (basically all your electronics ?) as your electronics may not last the whole time you are in studio. And, if you are designing digitally, your day will be sad if your laptop runs out of battery.
6. And Last but not Least, FRIENDS!!
Friends are essential to surviving your life in the studio, or at least acquaintances who you can strike a conversation with at one in the morning. Pressure from the studio, other classes, and just life in general is a lot and can build up quickly. Friends or good acquaintances in the studio can help with the pressure by just having someone to talk to and laugh with when you are stressed and it’s late at night. Friends in the studio are also some of the best critiques and can give you great advice on your design. They’re also there for you if you need to spill some emotions, because they can relate and empathize with you when you are fretting about your project. Remember, they are going through the exact same thing and can help you to not overthink.
Well, there you have it! That is how I survived my first year as an architect student. Future architect students, I hope this can help you get through your first year with no regrets. Current or past architect students, can you relate? Other readers, thank you for reading all the way down to the end. I hope you enjoyed reading how I survived!