101 Things I learned in Architecture School book on a bed next to a notebook and a candy cane

A first year’s reflection on their first semester

To think that in only 13 weeks I’ve gone from spending my summer in bed all day to completing my first term of Architecture at uni seems crazy. Despite the ups and downs I encountered over the transition from A levels to degree, it’s safe to say uni so far has been a life changing experience.

When I was first moved to Lincoln (a week prior to freshers week to give me time to settle in) I was a bag of nerves. Considering I’d never lived away from home, even though I was only moving an hour away it seemed like a massive step and I wasn’t sure how I would cope. Thankfully, having amazing flatmates and course mates (who are in the exact same boat as you) makes it so much easier! I think it’s so important to make the effort in the first few days to connect with your new peers, whether it’s by making your first trip to Morrisons together or going for a drink at Spoons, to make Lincoln feel like ‘home’ as soon as possible.

Freshers week is also a great way to get yourself integrated into the uni, not only through nights out but also by signing up to different societies and sports teams at the freshers fair – also, even if you don’t fancy joining a society, still go to the freshers fair because there’s loads of freebies like pizza, pens, and memory sticks – which is a winner in my eyes!

In terms of adjusting to my course in comparison to A levels, it’s definitely a big step up! It’s well known that Architecture is a very demanding course in terms of workload and the amount of time it’ll take up in your week, but knowing this prior to coming to uni meant I wasn’t too shocked by the amount of work we had to complete in such a short amount of time! After a few weeks, staying in the studio until midnight to finish up work just becomes a part of the daily routine…

The main things I’ve taken from my first term are:

  1. There’s no point worrying about coming to uni – making friends, living independently etc. because everyone else is in the exact same boat so you can help each other out.
  2. Time management is an essential skill you need to master in your first term, especially if you also have extra curricular commitments or a job along with your studies.
  3. Living off takeaways is not a sustainable way of living, health or finance wise, so learning to cook (even if it’s just pasta most days) is essential to survive the year.
  4. With freshers week aside, you probably won’t go out that much if you’re anything like me and would rather be in bed with a cup of tea watching films instead.
  5. Uni is challenging, but so worth it!
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