Isn’t it lovely? That feeling before a test: your eyes dry from lack of sleep, your brain overstuffed with information (threatening to release it all in a split second) and your mouth parched no matter how much water you drink. Oh, and how can you neglect the fear of doing poorly sitting heavily in the pit of your stomach?
That, dear reader, is exactly how I felt before my first midterm test. To make things even better, I (along with many other sad students) ended up having my first two in one day! And it was a Friday! This is a tale of strength and survival, perseverance and passion, and the art of being extra, so pay close attention as it unfolds.
Unlike high school, midterm tests in university now happen on regular school days. This is to reduce productivity in each of the classes you have that day and to increase stress levels at the same time! Double the losses! Even though no one actually intends for that to happen, that is how it goes down. I couldn’t focus on anything that day other than the cloud of worry raining down on me.
As dark and unpromising as things seemed, I did find solace in one aspect of my first midterm. It was my first midterm. I was supposed to learn from it, to improve my studying to match the level of understanding it required, and to blame the fact that it was just my first if I ended up doing poorly.
When it was finally time for my midterm, I was over the nerves. I have a habit of becoming numb right before a nerve-wracking situation. Maybe this was why I was so amazed by the thought that occurred to me right before we started. I’m sure I sound super cliché and cheesy, but when I looked around the enormous IB 120 room, I realized that we were all so lucky to be writing this stomach ache-inducing test. We were so lucky to be given the chance to advance ourselves when so many people in the world feel scared just imagining it. In the moment, any remaining stress and feelings of doubt were overshadowed by gratitude.
The timer for 30 minutes may have felt 3 minutes long and I may have made
a lot of some educated guesses, but I felt happy writing the test. I felt like the chosen one from those fantasy movies. I’d say, it really was lovely.
So, reader, find your moment of gratitude. It can really change your perspective.