Thoughts

[40/365] Test Anxiety? Not Quite

My exam results for last semester are going to be posted in another half an hour and honestly? I’m fucking terrified.

I have either bad luck or really shitty prophetic skills when it comes to predicting my academic grades. When I was thirteen I thought I’d at least get a pass – not an A, mind you, a passing grade! – for an Arab Language midterms, but I ended up failing the thing. I don’t know if it’s enough to cause a trauma, but ever since then I’ve never been able to correctly predict my grades.

Rather, if I even try to guess how I did on the exam, I end up getting nauseous and anxious. I can almost faint from results anxiety, that’s how bad it is for me. I think it stemmed from my childhood – my mother was the kind to constantly push her children to be the best that they can be, and sometimes she failed to distinguish between her children’s potential and limit. In elementary school, that meant having her ask how I did on my exams every single term, and anything less than an A meant trouble. One time I got a B for an English paper, she ripped the thing into pieces, scattered it across the house, and refused to talk to me for more than a month. I was nine years old then.

I don’t know about the rest of my siblings, but for me it led to my being afraid of finding out my test scores, and being even more terrified of telling my mother about them. I could get a 3.6 GPA (which is fucking ace, in my opinion – I was a terrible student in high school, and in university anything above 3.0 is fucking ace for me) and I’d still be afraid that she’d chew me out for not getting a straight 4.0. There’s always something I’ll be afraid of, something I’m afraid of telling her, something that’s not good enough. The last thing I want in life to be hurled headlong into a confrontation or an argument – I’m naturally timid and I don’t like yelling, I don’t like aggression – and it always feels like my exam results would do exactly that to me.

Let’s not forget that time I thought I’d at least passed my Arab Language midterm only to find out I fucking failed. That kind of thing really gets you down, has you second-guessing yourself to hell and back. Until now I’m afraid to say I did well on anything, because I’m afraid I might jinx it. I’m afraid that I only thought I did well when in actuality I didn’t do well at all. It’s terrifying. It’s nauseating. It’s petrifying.

[Paralyzer by Finger Eleven plays in the background]

Honestly. I’m scared. I’m 21 years old now. I shouldn’t be afraid of telling my mother how I did on my exams, but I am. My fingers shouldn’t shake with nerves when checking my results, but they do. I shouldn’t feel like I’m about to faint, but I am.

Please, let me have done well this semester.

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