When the unthinkable happens: there’s a post for that

This post, that is. And I’d like to apologize in advance for any unfortunates who come across this post, as it was written right after the unveiling of a test score that I had been waiting for ever so religiously. The reason why I’m mad, dear unfortunate reader, is because I can’t possibly understand how, or why, this happened.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Come now, darling, it’s just one test – pull yourself up by your bootstraps and go study for the next one. Learn from your mistakes! Do better, BE better!” (There more than a great chance that that’s not exactly what you’re thinking. You’re probably instead wondering why you’re still reading this long tirade from a ticked-off college freshman when honestly you could be finishing that book you started or watching that show you missed last week. But please, for a moment, humor me.) But the reason why I just can’t get past this score is because I was so sure I had done well.

There is no logical explanation in my mind as to how I lost fourty-two points on that test.

Now, usually I think back and I say, “Oh right, there was those few problems that I was a little iffy about, but at least I didn’t fail.” No. I could have argued my way to hell that I had gotten each and every one of those problems right. I was so very, very sure of my answers. I double checked every single one, in fact, I was so proud of how I did that I no longer stressed about the class.

Now I have to stress.

The thing is that it’s no so much that I failed myself, but now I feel like I’ve failed my professor as well, who professed to me right after I turned in the test that he would be happy to take me on as a TA next year.

Well, there goes that job. And there follows my ability to ever look my professor in the eye ever again. Because quite frankly, I failed that test.

Admittedly, I did not, in the numbers, fail. I probably got above the average, because it was admittedly a hard exam, worthy of a midterm. But for the first time, I’m realizing that that small “silver lining” means nothing to mean. It was not enough to “pass” that test, I wanted to excel. I wanted to be one of the few who was able to beast that test because of my fundamental understand of the material and all its applications. I wanted to show my professor that I have a mind that can manipulate the tools he so painstakingly gave me so that I can prove that I belong to the Society of Ridiculously Smart People. (Before you freak out, the society does not exist. It was a term my father coined when my oldest sister got into one of the world’s greatest universities, and it has stuck with me since now I’m going to another one of the world’s greatest universities, although the position comes with its drawbacks. Namely pressure. Which leads me to a topic that I will leave the parentheses for because it is actually quite important.)

Like many unfortunate souls who grace the campuses of some of the world’s greatest universities, there’s an ever-constant, nagging doubt in the back of my mind of whether or not I actually belong here. And while the institution does its best to relieve me and my classmates of this doubt with the mantra “We chose you. Therefore, you belong here,” I can’t help but wonder if they were wrong. If by some twisted play of fate (or a far-fetched miracle) that they meant to except someone else and pulled out my file instead. Of course, I know that I’m not the only one and that I really shouldn’t dwell on it and instead make my presence here have a purpose, I cannot let the doubt go. Because of times like these.

Now, I’m not naive (well, completely). I know that everyone makes mistakes, everyone has those days, and that now that horrible song is probably stuck in your heads you’re welcome and I’m not truly sorry because I’m still on a rant so let’s keep moving. I know that my entire career here as a student is not made up by one test. The only problem is that this was a physics test. A basic. Newtonian. Physics. Midterm. The reason why this is monumental is the fact that I have learned the topics for this midterm three times. Three. Different. Times. I could probably teach the class now if I really had the reason or the ability! And yet, besides the fact that I have sat through that class, relearning things I had gone over twice in less than a year, I have yet to master these facts to the point where I can do well on a midterm. I failed a midterm that discussed concepts that have been drilled into my mind by three separate professors.

I am a failure.

So again we return to this little, nagging, annoying doubt. If I cannot effectively use concepts I have learned three times over, who am I to perform at a school in which you’re supposed to excel in concepts that were barely mentioned?

I’ve come to the point in my tirade where I’m less angry and frustrated, and more tired and depressed. I didn’t make this blog to go all emo on the less than fortunate cyber space, so I’ll end this here, probably go back to wondering what on earth I could have done wrong. But before then, I’d like to ask the brave reader who finished reading this post to pray for me. Whether or not you believe in that kind of thing, I do. And it would cheer me up ever so much.

Lesson # 3: When frustrated at yourself, don’t look in the mirror. It’s only makes everything that much more depressing.

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