The Pressure of a “Professional Title”

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“You finally passed the board exam, so now what?!”

You have successfully recovered from the board exam mental state. Yeah! However after some parties (hibernation in my case) you start to realize, you haven’t crossed the finish line yet in fact the race has just began. There are countless of ways for a newly board passer to reach this realization. Yet there’s one I find most interesting –the pressure of a “professional title”.

The pressure and the rush to greatness is good but if not put to balance may drive one crazy. (I had my fair share of madness, of course!) This article can be most helpful to those speed-freaks like I. But if you are in the total opposite, where unhelped s–l–o–w–i–n–g down seems to be the main issue, just go on.

Because no matter how fast or slow one is, the pressure strikes just the same.

Last time I shared my board exam journey so now, I’ll share my dilemma after passing the boards. What exactly happened after I got “Ar.” next to my name?

Not so long ago, I experienced the hype of success in passing the board exam. Congratulations seem to never end, that it even got to a point of being annoying, nonetheless gratitude was overflowing. However, the celebration ended as soon as reality sank in. I heard this verse constantly repeating in my head: “You’re finally an Architect, so now what?!” Moments later, I started to feel the pressure and the rush.

I have always been true to myself, for I know very well there is no point in not being so. I confess, the rush I felt was fueled by pride it was no less, a rush to greatness! I wanted to be great. Who doesn’t? I did not even know what greatness truly mean then. I didn’t even care to know, I just wanted to be something out of the ordinary, I guess. I made so many plans back then, most of them are almost impossible. But who cares, I was on the hype, right?

There were plenty of good suggestions to where to go, to what to do, to who I’ll be. I did truly listen but the only voice I let to get into my system completely was my own. Opportunities greeted me very nicely along the way too. In fact, just in my few months of being a registered architect, in the rush, I attempted to establish my own firm alongside old college friends. Everything about it happened so quickly. I guess all of us involved, didn’t even have the chance to fully comprehend where we at or what exactly was that we’re doing. And like how the old saying goes: “Easy to get, easy to lose.” My first attempt was made too quickly and it came to pass so quickly as well.

I definitely lose the first round, I got knocked out (pun intended!) It was terribly painful! But it’s also where I gained some of my most valuable lessons to date! And in the end gratitude was the attitude! If I did not take such risk I wouldn’t have gotten a closer look to human nature, to ego, to greed, to professional politics; to see how unfair truly life is; to taste how hard truly work can be; to feel how complicated humans are; and above all to know myself better. This is the part where the words of one of Rome’s greatest Emperors spoke to me:

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” –Marcus Aurelius

I have found my way. I haven’t seen the end of the road yet. But now, I have a clue to where exactly I want to go; to what exactly I want to do; and to who exactly I want to be!


So, here’s my suggestion for those who are starting to hear the taunting verse:

You’re finally an Architect, so now what?!”

Just R-E-S-T!

Relax. You deserve some rest, so go ahead and party, but never be complacent!

Evaluate yourself. Always! This should be a habit by now.

Set goals. S M A R T Goals only please!

Take the risk! Try to calculate it as much but don’t rely too much on your calculation, you’re not born nor made to be a “human-risk-calculator”. Don’t be afraid, after all, the obstacle, is the way!


Under construction on S//S:

My Journey to the Academe: How did teaching saved my life, literally?


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