In less than 2 weeks, I will be sitting in an exam room trying to successfully pass the exam of my lifetime: the NCIDQ.
To be eligible to sit for this professional exam, one has to
"at least six years of combined college-level interior design education
and interior design work experience are essential preparation for both
the exam and professional practice."
Meaning, I've been preparing for this, in addition to the 6 months of studying, for years, 7 years. Since college when they began instilling codes in our brain, I have been practicing and studying.
And it all comes down to a 15 hour exam. Yes, 2 multiple choice sections next Friday each lasting 3.5 hours long, and then a 7 hour section of drafting on Saturday. Yes drafting, pen to paper solving problems drafting.
And friends, I am getting nervous. Understandably so. I've got thousands of dollars on the line, the support of the people who helped me have the funds for the thousands of dollars on the line, and the expectancy of my family and friends.
Not to mention the pressure that I'm putting on myself by thinking about all of these people supporting me and the money invested. It's daunting.
I keep getting questions like "So what does that do for you". Well it lets me have the title of "Professional Interior Designer" and allows me to be state registered. I know that most people think of interior decorating, throw pillows and paint, but I don't have much desire to work in people's homes. (not that I wouldn't be more than happy to help you out...) But I love commercial design, especially healthcare and educational work. And in commercial design, the health, safety, and welfare of the public is at stake. The point of professional certification is the have proof that I am capable of working on public spaces with the ability to design aesthetically pleasing spaces and protect the users by knowing appropriate fixtures, furnishings, finishes, and equipment, and knowing the appropriate accessibility and fire codes for the spaces. So you see, there's quite a bit of responsibility. You wouldn't want an uncertified Lawyer to represent you or and uncertified doctor to give you a physical. Why is it any different in the spaces that you eat in, or sleep in?
And then there's the husband, who encourages me to take breaks (like not studying yesterday). He says he's offering balance, which I know I need. But I'm down to the wire. There's no more "free time". I keep being reminded of my little sister who might be one of the most stressed people I've ever encountered. She studies all the time, and when encouraged to take a break usually responds "no you don't understand." She's been in college 4 years, graduates in May, and has never skipped class! And that's how I feel. Those who keep saying "no, you'll do great" "you're gonna do awesome" "I know you'll pass" Do Not Understand. I can't skip class!
I was always the friend who said "you study what you can, go in do your best, and then forget about it and move on". And now I find myself on the other side of that statement. The person who is stressed out. However, My life is not determined or identified in my job or in my certification. And that's hard to say, that's hard to remind myself of. So for now, I'll keep reviewing, flipping through flash cards, and taking practice exams.