This week our national high school students will take their baccalaureate exams and it’s freaking them out. I know because I live with one of them and he is a major pain in the ass right now.
But I can’t really blame him, I figure I was just the same when I was the one taking them. Perhaps a tad bit chiller because I tend to turn apathetic when confronted with highly stressful situations. It’s like I die a little inside but still go around pretending like everything is fine; I havent slept in 48 hours but it’s cool. Cool cool cool.
The thing is, the actual exam is not what scares them the most. What does, is the ENTIRE buzzing around them exuding from their teachers, their parents, their family members who usually don’t give two craps about what they’re doing. « So? How is it going? Are you ready? Did you study enough? You know all your subjects? You know it’s very important that you have a good grade, it is probably the most important exam you’ll ever take. »
Even though everyone make it look like it’s the end of your world as you know it, it is actually really not. All the hype dies down once you have it, and you’re left wondering « okay, and now what? » Now you decide what you’re about to do for the next 5 years of your life like 18 is an appropriate age to know FOR SURE what you want to do for a living. Lol @ the system for showing itself to be a true exercise in torment and martyr. But all of that is not important right now, what’s important is you, driving yourself practically insane, counting your grades over and over, trying all the combinations that can help you get the bare minimum to pass. You mastered the art of conditional probability, you’re already acing your math exam that’s for sure.
It’s just that you have to know something, when you’re in that exam class, your nerves can make you lose your composure and get you flustered at a point when you start doubting everything you’ve ever studied. Looking left and right at people highly focused on their papers make it seem like everyone is doing better than you and you’re the only one not having a clue what to do. It’s not true, when it’s your turn to have your eyes on your paper, other people are looking at you and having the exact same thoughts. So like, take your blinders off and just know for a fact that everyone is just as stressed as you are.
It is how you handle that stress that makes the difference, acknowledge it, tell yourself that it’s perfectly normal to freak out when faced with situations like these. Also tell yourself that it isn’t stopping you from putting on that paper EVERYTHING you know because you know it. You know your material, whether you studied it for 10 or 500 hours. You read it, you discussed it in your class, you reviewed it with your friends. It is not because you also spent time playing league of legends or binge watching grey’s anatomy that you somehow lost your knowledge gathered during the school year.
You’re not supposed to be the best, you’re just supposed to do your best.
Don’t doubt yourself so much, don’t blame yourself for doing things to take the pressure off while you’re supposed to be studying. Everyone has a way of coping, you’re not a machine, even though everyone seems to think like it « What are you doing in front of your computer, other people are spending all their time studying ! ». Thanks for the great advice, but that suggests that a) you know all the other students, and I just don’t think you have that kind of social life mom, and b) I forgot I also wasn’t supposed to breathe but thanks for the reminder.
You are a teenager that’s facing an anxiety inducing situation, it is a lot for you, it is also one of the first times in your life when you’re doing something that major. When looking back at it you’ll realize that it wasn’t as hard as you thought it to be.
I believe in all of you, you’re going to do fine, you’re not supposed to be the best, you’re just supposed to do your best. And when you’re done with your exams, you’re all invited to my place for free pancakes. I’m serious you guys deserve all the sweet stuff. I love you.