Architecture Students: What to Do On Your Spare Time

Being an architecture student can be really tiring especially if you’re also using your weekends for school work (which happens most of the time). In this blog post, I will share with you some things you can do in your spare time that’s not really related to architecture. Whether you’re like me who just graduated from architecture school or someone who’s in his or her vacation, doing these things could be fun and perfect for you! Architecture students, you’re meant to explore to be a jack-of-all-trades.

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I gotta say, architecture school burned me out! Although I have my love for architecture, in my spare time, I like to steer away from anything architecture-related just to get a breather. That doesn’t mean I like to sit and scroll on my phone all day though! 

Get Back on Your Series

This is a no-brainer. Now I’m not one who wants to “do something productive” 24/7. Sometimes I spend all day just binge watching series and anime I’ve been wanting to watch but couldn’t due to time constraint, and that’s okay! As long as you’re intentional about your leisure, then you’re not wasting time and you’re being proactive about it.

Intentionally wanting to do leisure is healthy and should be done by all of architecture students as a breather. Let’s not let our work eat us up.

If you want to have a list of suggestions on what to watch from me, then let me know! I personally like thought-provoking shows.

Join Online Classes

Okay I know, you’re like, “I’m on vacation so why on earth would I want to sign up for classes?” I’m not talking about architecture related classes however if you want to do that then feel free to do so! 

I signed up for a confidence class in Udemy and it has been really good so far! I used to be a pretty confident person, however, after some time, I have lost my self-confidence (probably due to a lot of criticisms brought about by a competitive school) and I want to at least earn some back.

The course I signed up for is Confidence Masterclass Part 1 with Dr.Roy Naraine and it’s completely free! There are tons of courses both free and paid and I even signed up for some stocks training. If you sign up through my link, you’ll get 50% OFF Udemy courses which will be a huge help for the paid ones you’ll like!

Being away from academics, I still like to include some form of thinking in my day to continue exercising my mind. Signing up for online classes can help achieve that and still be a breather if it’s completely different from what you’re doing daily.

Learn to Cook

Completely random but not really, I love food. I love taking this time to experiment with what I want to cook and eat. When I was little, I thought I wanted to be a chef and my interest in cooking hasn’t really changed much. Now with the time on our hands, it’s possible to learn more recipes than we can try whilst in architecture school.

The first time I’ve heard of HelloFresh from Youtubers, I thought immediately what a brilliant idea. Not only do they deliver your “groceries” for a specific meal but it has the exact amount of ingredients you need for a serving – meaning there’s less likely to be wastage of ingredients or food. For my U.S. viewers, if you use my link for HelloFresh, you’ll get $80 OFF including free shipping on your first box.

I personally love food centered on eggs or cheese or anything Italian, and those are the food I commonly experiment with! What about you, what do you like to cook or learn to? Some architecture students I know loved experimenting with food in their dorms.

Start Writing

I really like anything creative. Aside from drawing and painting, I also love songwriting and book writing – hence why I started my blog. You can take this time to try writing more as a hobby if you haven’t yet, after all, writing can arguably make you a better designer.

There are writing courses in Udemy as well if you really wanna deep dive into it. Writing can be a mindful and relaxing hobby which can also be a choice for a source of income in the long run.

Writing is, like architecture, creative work. You might find it fun to explore different areas you can write about and it might even surprise you. 

Ready Your Profiles

Now this one is more applicable if you’re a fresh graduate, but doesn’t necessarily mean you can only do it when you’re that. In fact, I started my Linked In account way back and now have accumulated 50+ connections. It’s not a lot as I haven’t been really proactively trying to connect with people, but it’s always beneficial to ready your accounts for professional life.

The social media profile that I “rebranded” or readied are LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest in relation to the architecture field. For LinkedIn, I made sure to update all the information from the degree, to the skills, to the awards, etc. I even used my rendered thesis as a cover so they’ll initially have an idea of what my work looks like.

For Instagram, I archived all my old photos and started uploading all my works. It’s like an online portfolio. I still have some personal photos there but I intend to make it look neat and still presentable in case any firm would like to check on it.

For Pinterest, I focused on my blog account for architecture-centered materials. This is to present to different firms an additional hobby of mine – that is writing, and showcase how much audience I’m trying to gather as well. From what I know, different firms are interested in what you do on the side in order to grasp more who the person they are hiring is. 

If you’re also interested in maximizing more of your skills with architecture software or any other skill outside architecture, then you’ll like to subscribe to LinkedIn Learning! LinkedIn Learning also provides courses that you can take to improve any skill set you have. Through my link, you’ll be able to access a 30-day free trial. What I like about it is that I can access it through my LinkedIn account directly, making it easier to update my skills on the profile. Think of LinkedIn as your online resume.

I also use ResearchGate! If you’re not aware of what that is, it’s like a social media site filled with researches of different people. I used it whilst I was doing my thesis to look for references and now I also published my thesis there. 

You’ll probably find connections there too, just as how I’m connected with different professors in my school in that website. 

Work on Your Portfolio

As architecture students, you’re probably still trying to find your own style. Your architecture portfolio can brand you. It’ll show your style and progress throughout architecture school and it’ll be relieving to look back on the works you loved. 

When you’re a fresh graduate, you’ll be thinking of working and updating your portfolio. You don’t have to do it right away if you don’t want to, but it can be helpful to make progress on your spare time. 

I’m taking this time to also re-do some of the works I have and improve on them in terms of rendering. If you’re interested on tips on how to do your portfolio, leave me a note in the comments below!

Related: Architecture Programs I Used for Thesis

Start a Business

Architecture is a business too, but feel free to explore on other things that interests you. A lot of people I know practice other types of businesses aside from pursuing architecture. I treat my website as my own business – where I build my audience and sell products or services I believe in too. 

Being able to experience what it’s like on the market can be eye-opening and may even help you in the field if you’ll be starting your own architecture firm someday. Think of your interests. Some architects and architecture students I know went for food businesses, graphic design, painting, and more! What else do you want to do?

Related: Choosing the Right Architecture Firm for You

Read Books

There’s a lot of books to choose from and if you design on reading physical books, it’s time-off your screen too! Being in the field of architecture, we are mostly facing screens throughout (especially if you use an iPad for sketches and concept making). 

Related: Helpful iPad Apps for Architecture

Fiction books are helpful if you want a little escape from reality but books such as Ar. Eric Reinholdt’s Field Guide entitled Architect and Entrepreneur: A Field Guide to Building, Branding, and Marketing Your Startup Design Business will also definitely be worth your while! I currently have it on my iPad and I’m loving it. 

It’s a light read however it’s very informative. It talks about what it’s like starting an architecture business and the steps to take. He has another book that goes together with it called Architect and Entrepreneur: A How-to-Guide for Innovating Practice: Tactics, Models, and Case Studies in Passive Income

Related: Best Architecture Books for Architecture Students

Re-schedule Your Body Clock

I mean it. As light as it sounds, I know a lot of architecture students, including myself, who’s had a twisted body clock. Having those all-nighters can really mess you up. 

Take this time to fix it. It’s healthier and in the long run, more beneficial. If you’ll be getting into habits such as doing workouts, you’ll need proper sleep for that. 

Related: The Worst Habits of an Architecture Student 

After 5 long, hard, yet worthwhile years, I needed a break from architecture so badly. Some people take the time off and go on vacations. Due to the current circumstances, we’re sadly not able to do that but it doesn’t mean we can’t make the most out of our time at home. 

A trap we should try to avoid is prolonging “real adulting” or prolonging “real life” in order to just stay in bed all day and do nothing because we’re overwhelmed. 

Although I fall for it too, we can’t prolong it anymore than we can stop time. I think these tips help myself continue to learn and grow and so I hope they help you too!

Got more of these suggestions? Tell me in the comments below! For now, take some rest. You need it, we all do. 

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