New ‘academic’ year resolutions.

The week before term starts and the third floor is a hive of activity with staff getting ready to meet new students and welcome back those returning. During Induction Week there is a lot of information to take in, so it is good to take a pause before jumping straight in and think about how to approach the new academic year. Studying architecture demands passion and commitment, it is hugely rewarding, and of course at times challenging. As such we know that the students who will do best are those that follow a few simple rules right from the start.

Don’t survive on coffee to keep you going. Instead drink water or tea. Tea has the same amount of caffeine but is released more slowly so you’ll stay focused for longer.

Enjoy drawing by hand and practice whenever and wherever you can. Hand drawing is an essential part of studying architecture.

Practice presenting and discussing your ideas, like this you won’t dread your crits and reviews. If you have done the work they can be enjoyable and are an essential part of the learning process. Take pride in showing your work.

Don’t isolate yourself, staff and other students will be an endless source of ideas, inspiration and knowledge. So seek and share ideas, ask their advice, attend crits, talks and lectures regularly.

However tempting don’t rely on all nighters to meet deadlines, develop a regular schedule from the start. It’s really, really important to balance work with rest. Good planning will always make you more productive.

Read architecture magazines and blogs, go to exhibitions and visit buildings. The more sources of inspiration the better. Constantly challenge how you think about architecture and its relationship to the wider world.

Eat healthy food. to give you energy through the day, your body and mind need fuel in order to be creative.

Keep an open mind and join in new things. Be open to ideas, cultures and ways of doing things that might be different to your own.