Procrastination (and the A.R.E.) can wait

There are many hurdles in the path of becoming an architect, the ones they don’t tell you about: sleep deprivation, having to learn Starbucks lingo, having to learn the lingo of the coffee shop you swear is better than Starbucks, even though you secretly want a Frappuccino, becoming opinionated about pens.  And the ones they do: a professional degree, completing the Internship hours for IDP,  and finally the almighty Architectural Registration Exam (A.R.E.).

Now, if you’re just starting off I’m sure you’re thinking “I’ll just keep going straight through, graduate, work, and take the exams as soon as I can.”  That’s adorable, really, I love your enthusiasm.  I’ll let you enjoy that for awhile.

For those that have graduated and worked a few years congratulations you’re now ready for the final step.  Its the last hurdle before having the title.  But there are a bunch of those tests, and its a lot of studying.  Never fear architecture school has prepared you for procrastination.  However this requires a slightly different approach to the fine art of putting things off til later.  A few suggestions:

Train for a marathon, now I don’t mean actually run for a marathon, thats just crazy, 26.something miles is far.  Like really really far.  Who would want to run that?  Actually you don’t even have to train for a marathon, just hang out with the people who are, they seem to hang out in coffee shops on the weekend mornings.  They say its after a “long run” I think that’s code for sleeping in. 

Get married, have a child, move, you know, life stuff, I’m not really into any of that personally, but to each their own I guess.

Renew a lost passion, or the lost passion you always claim.  Buy paint brushes and paints or that really fancy camera.  Just remember to dust once a week, or else people will figure out you aren’t painting, you’re watching the Food Network.

Sleep.  This one I really do recommend, nobody told me how awesome sleep is.  

Pick up a new passion.  Sailing perhaps, I really feel like you would look good in sailing clothes.

Complain about the ARE’s. Get together once a week for a study session with other ARE hopefuls and complain together.  Then go out for coffee.  

Learn to make the perfect cappuccino.  Taste testing this does not go well with Item 4 though, just as a warning.  And you will still go to Starbucks, I mean that independent coffee shop that is so much better than Starbucks.  But the machines are cool to have in the kitchen.

Learn to make a perfect Manhattan, or a Brandy Sweet if you live in Wisconsin.  

Listen to real architects’ stories of when they took the AREs, this will both burn time, and make you want to quit the profession thus, you never have to take the exams.

Plan some big home improvement, a new deck, kitchen makeover.  Again, this doesn’t actually have to be accomplished, the planning is the important part.

Now if you’re one of the people who somehow manages to get through all the tried and true procrastination techniques a few tips:  Do not be a hero, take your time, relax, go on vacation between exams.  Don’t tell everyone else you’re taking them, it makes us feel bad.



do nothing sign is from Lauren Manning’s photostream on Flickr (used under creative commons license)


 no studying image is from rmlowe’s photostream on Flickr (used under creative commons license)


I’d like to thank Susan (aka @flyballtosecond ) for sitting in at the helm of the blog today. And, just for the record I may have procrastinated a little to take my A.R.E. Say…7 or 8 years, give or take a year or two. But, then I got my butt in gear and took it in a hard-core way (without the tattoos) I took one section every week for 7 weeks. Naturally, I failed the last section and had to wait 6 months to repeat it.

Don’t worry, I’m planning to take that last section again really soon…..

Thanks S, awesome post!


the clock image on the cover is from robstephaustralia’s photostream on Flickr  (used under creative commons license)