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How Architecture Students Can Avoid Burnout At School

Published on Friday, 24 Jul 2015
How Architecture Students Can Avoid Burnout At School

For creative individuals with a flair for design and space, a degree in architecture is the perfect blend of practicality and artistic license. There is a certain air of respect for individuals who, from the depths of their imagination, help build the world’s most memorable and beautiful buildings. From the outside, the lifestyle of an architect a career worthy of the most globally savvy and sophisticated, but there is a darker side to the prestigious title of architect -- unbalanced lifestyles and 70 hour work weeks can plague the designer if not careful. Avoid these issues early on by following our guidelines on how students of architecture can avoid burnout at school.  

Learn to manage your time effectively. When just starting out in school, it can be overwhelming to find free time in the middle of classes, exams, and projects. Create a weekly schedule and fill it up with all your classes, studio time, and other engagements. This visual representation of your time should give you insight into the days in which you will have plenty of time to work or study. Be dedicated to using that time wisely by scheduling some free time in as well. 

Have a support system. There are no other individuals who will understand your stress than fellow students, mentors, and tutors within your programme. Creating a collective to whom you can vent your frustrations or bounce ideas off of will significantly unburden you and help keep stress levels at bay. Once you begin your programme, try to seek the guidance of seniors who have already lived through the rigours of the first year. Their advice and encouragements may prove invaluable. Later on, these relationships can transition into networking relationships that can help with job placement.  


Eat well. There is no doubt that architectural students are pressed for time. When time is scarce, healthy eating is usually the first thing to fall to the wayside. Fueling your body helps to stimulate your mind to work at its optimum level. If you’re eating junk food or not eating enough, your energy levels are going to plummet, which in turn will affect your mood, health, and studies. Avoid stress by drinking proper amounts of water (2 litres per day for the average adult) and consuming fresh fruits and veggies.  

Get physical. After eating well, exercise is the next on the list of healthy habits that deteriorate in the face of stress. Architectural students spend a good majority of their time drafting and designing - but when you run out of creative energy, how can you connect to inspiration? Many students will not think of exercise as a way to become inspired, but the practice of focussing on physical exertion will spark your subconscious to generate ideas. Of course, exercise is great for keeping your body in shape as well! Just 30 minutes three to four times per week can help you maintain physical health to help combat burnout.  

Make green tea your caffeine drink of choice. While coffee shops remain on the rise as a hotspot to socialise, the brown energy drink is actually not as good for you as you think. Try switching to green tea instead as it releases caffeine over a longer period of time. Coffee 
delivers a jolt of energy and then sets you up for a crash afterward, but green tea packs in antioxidants, making this beverage healthy as well as energising.  

Choose your peers and mentors wisely. In order to perfect the good habits necessary to avoid burnout in architectural school, you must surround yourself with others who also want to be healthy. When you are close with individuals who pull all nighters, eat an unbalanced diet, and get little exercise, chances are, you will too. Even if you are not quite perfect in balancing your stress, having a friend who is good at it will help you. 

Honor your mental health. Your mental well being is more important that earning perfect grades or turning a project in on time. In order to succeed academically, you’re going to have to put your mental health first. Make it a priority in your time management schedule to get a full night’s rest, have time for exercise, socialising, and eating well. If you do these things first, you may find that your mind is sharper and your grades are higher.  

Enjoy the great outdoors. The serenity of tall trees, high cliffs, or a natural body of water has truly cathartic effects. Busy architectural students should learn to be present. View the world with wonder and when you can, go out in it. Being among nature is awe-inspiring and relaxing. This combination of soul food will help boost your creative output and lower your stress.  


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