I’ve been a little stressed lately. And I think, by not being totally honest with myself about it and not having stayed strong emotionally, I sort of screwed up. I’ll try to explain what happened.

Last Monday, my Chem prof decided to schedule  a chapter test covering 4 chapters for this Monday. Inside, I freaked. I sorted of freaked out at her, too, and told her, “I have a huge exam in Microbiology that same day. I don’t think I can do both.”

I didn’t feel like I could do both because this exam in Microbiology was extremely important (and I wish I’d posted about it before to get my stomach unknotted). If I got an A on this Microbiology exam, I could effectively not have to take the final exam, which is optional.  And when I study for Microbiology exams, my life is on lockdown. Usually I go into work and all, but this week promised to be insane with two lecture exams, two huge lab exams), trying to do them both on the same day.

I screwed up my courage, emailed my internship manager to tell him I’d be out Thursday and Friday to study. He was not very nice about it at all. And I was pissed and then stressed about it. So I cried in my living room after I returned home from chem class. I felt very angry and then I burst into tears, and I felt bad because I feel scared sometimes. And alone. And extremely worried.

I asked my Microbiology professor if I could take the lab practical on Thursday instead of Wednesday because of my other chemistry practical. He said that’s fine, he had some space in the morning lab.  I asked my chem professor if I could take the lecture exam on Tuesday, and she said no. She said my average was high enough and she drops the lowest test score. I asked her if she could just put it in the test center and I would do it Tuesday. She said no make up exam, I had a 96% average and I could just skip it if I wanted to. I told her, fine, I’ll skip it.

And so I studied Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but for a mix of Microbiology and Chemistry. I am particularly terrified of Chemistry because there’s no clear idea of what to study. I got to see, through the college library the final exam from last year. I was sort of rushing back and forth between the two until Saturday evening, when I actually got the courage to email her and say, “Look, I can’t do it. I’m overwhelmed.” Biology takes a lot of time. It’s all memorization. I finished my Chemistry homework and take home quiz (which she said to bring to class but then I guess she ended up just posting the answers).

I always need a clear conscience of not having anything left undone in order to study peacefully. I haven’t slept in 24+ hours so I can’t say exactly why I couldn’t give Microbiology my whole heart and soul, other than I was smarting from the email from my internship supervisor and I was deeply scared that maybe I’m some kind of total screw up that I’m so emotionally fragile that I couldn’t figure out how to take four exams in two days.

So, anyway, I studied hard, got tired, still felt sad and anxious and unhappy about work and Chemistry class. I studied from 3 pm to 1:30 am on Saturday and all day and night Sunday into 30 mins before the test.

And it was really the saddest studying. I swear, the hours of the night flew by. My brain felt like peanut brittle. I was having such a hard time recalling anything, even though I’d been fine doing so earlier. I couldn’t remember my mnemonic devices, I felt like I was hardly able to say anything.  I studied on the way over (re-listened to lectures on audio) to school, I hastily made additional flashcards in the parking lot after I parked. I looked over all my notes.

The trouble was, I think, that I spent too much time writing out study objectives. Not one question from the 58 or so study objectives were on the exam. It was a little bit frustrating. And I was two chapters behind this morning, an hour before leaving, despite just studying, studying, studying. No internet, no nothing.

It goes without saying that I studied inefficiently.  On the previous exams, I always regretted not doing the study objectives. So I started with them this time.

I wish I knew how to let things go and not get all wrapped up in the fear. I’m pretty sure I’ll have to take the final now, and that I’ll have done poorly on my Microbiology exam (probably lost points on dumb things). I’m not sure if it makes studying at all discouraging now, but, ugh, I feel a little overwhelmed. And afraid. All this work, only to mess it up in the end? The professor is going to post the grades for this exam pretty soon (in a matter of hours).

I’m afraid of how I’m going to feel afterwards, about myself, about my plans, about how I’ve chosen to return to school. I have to be strong, but somehow, it’s so hard to be strong about it all. In this case, it’s not just about being strong, but about being confident, and it’s hard to be confident when there isn’t a safety net under me.

On the bright side, at least there are only very, very few people judging me. But this week has effed me up already, and it’s just Monday today.

Tomorrow, I study for the chem lab practical. Later tonight, I organize my materials for both the Microbio lab practical and the chem lab practical. But first, for someone who hasn’t napped (ugh, I’m envisioning a really horrible Microbiology exam grade right now and it hurts a lot—is the reason I can’t just retain information from lecture perfectly because I’m such an Anxious Annie?) I’m going to get some sleep in.



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