If your a student, and have made that all important choice of Architectural Technology as your study for the next three years, welcome, it's not a bad choice, and one that will give you a wide choice of career opportunities, from that of working in an Architects office, as a technologist, running your own practice, or using the skill you will learn in any of the many different manufacturing companies that make up the construction industry.
If you are not in the UK, then you might find it a little difficult to run your own practice, Architects in some countries have stopped us from working on our own, they seem to thing we lack the construction skills, yet happy to let us sort out their design and draw them, still it's a great career choice and one I have enjoyed for the past 45 years.
So what do you need to enter University, well what ever course your on, making notes and recording lectures is a priority, so can I get you to look at Evernote as your repository for all those notes, paper, electronic, video, and audio. I wish I stil had my own from my college days. The more you use Evernote, the more you will realise it's power, get the free apps for most browsers, and if you see anything interesting, clip it and make an extra note, don,t make a bookmark, you will forget why very quickly.
Next, invest is a nice little drawing set, if you can get one of the old small A3 wooden drawing board and a “T” square, so much the better, but failing that, the plastic ones are just as good, and perhaps a little lighter, start practicing now, get a small compas set whilst your at it, and a nice collection of pencils, the thin lead clutch pencils are great.
Now to CAD, hopefully your first year will not touch cad and you will be learning the art of hand drawing, but if you can afford it, purchase a copy of Sketchup, I have yet to find a practice any where in the world who do not value it's use, watch the many different videos, and get to grips with it, you will not regret it. The free version is ok, and will allow you to do so much in terms of 3D and perspective, although printing is limited, but there are ways around this and for a lot of your drawing needs, pencil and the free Sketchup will do you just fine.
Next, construction books, I still have mine from all those years ago, and they still get used, Mitchels, Barry, McKay are all available, and well worth investing in, your university might have set books they teach from, so check, but they are so worth investing in. I have both Electronic and paper versions of mine, the electronic are so usefull, and believe me, getting to class with three or four of them is not fun they weight a little each, but paper is still nice. Do checkout second hand book stores, you never know, I have picked up some belters over the years, including a Metric hand book, and an excellent Neufert's for almost nothing.
Next, computer, your going to need one, and it's going to have to last three years or so, my preference has always been Apple, they cost more, but it will last, get the insurance, and look after it, I use Dropbox to store a lot of my work, it makes sharing easier, an iPad or similar is also a good buy, taking notes and making calls via Skype is so easy, and it's going to be so much easier to carry than a laptop. Plus Evernote runs just fine.
Your university will give you an email address, but be aware, you will loose it in three years time, get an external address, I use google gmail, and BC, or blind copy all your mail sent to and from your university address, this way when you leave University you will still have copies of your mail. normally your email address linked to Uni is worth having, most work and access to the University system is linked to it, and at the least you might get free software, from the likes of Autocad and Microsoft.
CIAT is not just a UK institute, it is the Global institute for all Architectectural Technologist all over the world, it's free to join as a student member, it's well worth joining, just to get into the system, and start talking to people like me, who will give every encouragement, read about other technologist, attend CPD meets, and network, it does help getting work, and is a must for your CV.
So there it is, your first days at University, enjoy, but if there is one rules it's read, and read again, do as the tutor asks, not what you want to do, so many put in work, and they just have not read the question. But above all, nervy be affraid to ask, joint Twitter and LinkedIn, and network, this way if your stuck, some one somewhere might be able to help.