BA Architecture: First Impressions and Final Thoughts

by | Jun 21, 2024 | Architecture, Planning and Environmental Management, Undergraduate | 0 comments

So many things have happened in one year. It was a year that I was once worried about; things like moving abroad, making friends, and even studying a course that is said to be challenging. However, when I reflect on this past year, my perspective on architecture, and perhaps on life itself, has profoundly changed, and now I am glad I went to architecture school.

Initial Impressions

When I started this course, I was excited by the world of creativity and urban design, which I would be more involved in– a curiosity I was willing to delve into. Although my background in architecture is minimal, I knew that my curiosity in art and learning was a great start. Hence, when I had my first project, I was excited. However, I was worried, especially since I was unsure of my outcomes or the standards that the tutors would expect.

The First Studio Session

At first, I was worried and felt a mixture of anticipation and apprehension. However, I noticed some people had the same feeling as me, so I could set aside my worries and engage in conversations with them. The cohort is then separated into groups, meaning we would be in the same group for a year. It was daunting, but I was glad our tutors encouraged us to get to know each other and share our passions. My tutors emphasised the importance of creativity, critical thinking, and hard work, preparing us for the rigorous path.

Studio Space

The studio has taught me many things, from understanding the brief to site analysis, developing concepts, making physical models, and even creating perspective and orthographical drawings. The studio was quite an exciting space. It is an ample open space separated into different groups to meet new people. Not only has the studio become a place for developing ideas and meeting people, but the memories I shared with my friends in the studio are memorable, and I am looking forward to the new academic year.

Software Development

I developed my architectural software skills as I designed and learned about buildings. Programs like AutoCAD, SketchUp, Rhino, and Adobe Creative Suite have helped me design and finalise my projects. It was initially challenging because I was supposed to work on things in a limited time, and I needed to make more progress because I was learning programs. However, I learned the software that way, and I can translate my ideas into tangible forms and present them professionally.

Time Management

Procrastination is everyone’s worst enemy. Despite my efforts to avoid it, it often gets the better of me. Although the workload is heavy, balancing it with daily activities and hobbies is possible. I experienced moments of doubt and exhaustion, but completing the submissions brought a sense of peace. This experience has undoubtedly strengthened my resilience and problem-solving abilities.

Late Nights

I tried my best to avoid staying up all night to finish my work, managing my time to get things done in the morning. However, as deadlines approached, I often found myself caught up in late-night work sessions with friends, which were incredibly motivating and productive. Though working late into the night isn’t recommended, the excitement of delving into our projects often causes us to lose track of time. Nonetheless, don’t let this discourage you!

Goals for the Upcoming Year

Reflecting on my first year, I feel accomplished and excited for the future. I’ve learned a lot, and this year has equipped me for advanced and specialised coursework ahead. I look forward to delving deeper into green projects and sustainable design. I’m also eager to explore how AI can be applied in architecture and further develop my distinctive design style.


The first year of architecture school has been a transformative journey marked by hard work, creativity, and personal growth. It has helped me develop my passion for architecture, expand my creativity, and prepare for the future. Despite the challenges, it has been a profound step in fostering my creative thinking process and preparing me for the exciting path ahead.

Written by Jessica, current BA Architecture student in Manchester School of Architecture