Are you taking a break from architecture school? This post talks about why people may need to take breaks and how YOU can stay productive during your time away!

This is an exciting time of year full of changes! Many people are graduating architecture school and some are returning to complete their education requirements. But this post is for those whom are doing neither but are deciding to take a break from architecture school instead. First, I am going to point out the various reasons people may delay school, followed by a list of 7 things you can do to stay productive during your time off.


What are the reasons you may need to take a break from architecture school:


Family Issues

There could be countless reasons why you may have to put your education on hold for family reasons. Unfortunately, sometimes we cannot help having an obligation to our family. Do what you need to do and jump back in whenever you can.

Monetary Issues

Paying for your education comes from generally three sources: out-of-pocket, student loans, and scholarships. If you are paying for school out-of-pocket, you may need to take breaks every couple of years to earn money to pay for tuition. Compared to student loans you will save money at the expense of time. You may also need to consider issues you cannot forsee have the possibility to stop your education altogether.

Student loans are the most reliable, but expensive, option in the long run. If student loans are your primary funding for education, you shouldn’t run into any problems having to take breaks for monetary reasons.

If scholarships are your primary source of funding you may need to supplement funding with student loans or out-of-pocket. Scholarships obviously make a difference in cutting down how much you will pay for school! If you believe you can qualify, try applying for many graduate schools and wait to see if you can qualify for scholarships to begin your graduate studies.

Unsure of Which Graduate School to Attend

Many architecture students pursue their graduate education at a different school from their undergrad. This is because different schools have varied research areas and specialties you may be interested in learning about. With a little search on a university’s website, you can find out what their graduate school is all about. This may take a little soul searching on your part,

Not Sure if Architecture or Obtaining Licensure is Right for You.

We were not born knowing exactly what we are going to enjoy doing in the world! It is perfectly fine if you are unsure about fulfilling the education requirements for licensure. Graduate school is expensive and if you are going to pursue it, be 100% dedicated mentally and physically. Obtaining your architecture license does not define your success. You may be better off in a related field and not even know it!


Do not let these issues stop you…

There are many ways to stay productive!


What should you do to have a productive break?


1.) If you have the opportunity, the best way to stay productive during a break is to find work in an architecture firm. This is the obvious answer. You can build upon your skills in school while developing a sense of what goes on in an architectural office. Not to mention you can knock off some of the hours you will need for the Architectural Experience Program or AXP (formally the Internship Development Program (IDP)) as part of the requirements towards licensure.


2.) Work in a related field such as construction. Sometimes, especially in a small town, it may be difficult to find an architecture position in town. Working in a related field can be a great experience and can build upon certain aspects of architecture! If you were to work for a construction company you could have a better understanding of how a building goes together, and upon starting your architectural exams you may have a leg up.


3.) Travel to another country, or another city. Change your environment, experience the world! Traveling gives you the opportunity to meet new people, improve on various architectural skills, and inspire you. Of course, traveling can cost a pretty penny so it may not be the best option if money is an issue. In that case…


4.) Read books related to what you are interested in architecture. Some great examples are biomimicry, historical preservation, adaptive reuse, micro-housing, construction management, urban design, etc. Books are like traveling… but in your head. You can learn about any ideas you are interested in exploring through books, and you may end up finding an area in architecture that you will want to explore further in graduate school! Do not underestimate the power of books!


5.) Build upon your hobbies. Find something you enjoy doing, whether or not it seems related to architecture. Have you thought about starting a blog? What about improving your photography skills? Now is your chance! These hobbies could, in fact, further your architectural skills as well. Speaking of which…


6.) Practice architectural skills you did not have the time for! Did you ever want the time to perfect your drawing techniques? Want to practice model making, or perhaps take better documentation of your architectural models? You will have plenty of time for this…


7.) Make an amazing portfolio! Take your earlier projects and develop them further. Without architecture studios to distract you, make the portfolio you always wanted but could never find the time for!


When pursuing  your education there is no need to speed through your experience. There may be social pressures telling you that you have to get through school as fast as possible. Many people take breaks from architecture school; it is actually quite normal. The only thing I would suggest not to do is feel negative towards taking a break.  Remember that it is YOUR life. You are the narrator! If you are taking a break only you know what is best for you at this moment.


So have fun during your time off, stay productive, and if you need any more advice, contact us!