I Thought I Failed a Midterm (But I Always Think That)

Today, I want to talk a little bit about stress: the stress of high school finals, the stress of college midterms, the stress of college admission essays, the stress of college essays in general.

Regardless of whether you are a prospective high school student of a new University of Illinois Freshmen, everyone can attest to the fact that the mid-to-end of an academic year brings on stress.

Just this past week, I took my first midterm for a history class that has been pretty tough. All of our notes are taken by hand, and the lecture is pretty large. The TAs and professor are kind, but I don’t have that personal connection that I have with other faculty members. When it came to studying for the midterm, I didn’t have much guidance, so I did a lot of reading and re-writing my notes (a great study tool, by the way).

Walking out of the midterm, I legitimately thought I did poorly. I stared blankly at the multiple choice questions, and my essay portion was a jumbled mess of thoughts and facts.

I got a 94%.

The reason I am telling you this story is not to brag whatsoever, but to remind you that stress and doubtfulness around a big test or essay is normal. In high school, I highly recommend talking to your teachers if you feel stressed about an exam. In college, if you don’t feel comfortable talking to your professor or TA, try reaching out to other students in the class.

You are going to feel uncertain at times regardless of how the testing actually went, and you shouldn’t ever second guess yourself and your ability. If you study hard, study often, and use your resources, you will always be prepared.

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