Kimberly Dowdell (2013)

What ARE We Doing?
By Kimberly Dowdell
Licensed 2013
Written 6/26/2013

I definitely dumped my boyfriend because passing my last Architect Registration Exam (ARE) division had me beyond stressed out. It was not the only issue in our relationship, but it was big enough to put me over the edge. Having not been among the lucky few to pass all of my exams on the first attempt (or second in some cases), I built up a lot of anxiety over the situation. I had never experienced such disappointment, frustration, anger, fear and anguish in my entire life. I am not even kidding…it was rough. The only people who understood what I was going through were those who’ve done it, which is such a small percentage of my network that practically no one got it. Most people would listen to me complain and stare blankly at me. “It’s just a test, you can do it…didn’t you go to Cornell?” Umm, yes I am smart, but this test isn’t about being smart. For me, the ARE was about being resilient. I am very grateful that I made it through with my sanity and health mainly in tact. I thank God for the perseverance to keep getting back up again after being pushed down and around by the infamous Architect Registration Exam for nearly four years.

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