Taking a tumble

Some days, I suffer from anxiety. There’s a voice in my head that reminds me that I am 30, that I am a part-time student at a community college (even though I strongly believe in the value of our local community college), and that I wasted my college years and my parents’ money because I was too lazy and sheltered to grow up. I interviewed for jobs only at fancy consulting firms and offices where all the young women dressed beautifully and seemed so smart, so much better than most other women. I tried to forget that I was raised middle class, that we only lived in the town we did because it was literally the edge of being included in the state’s best school district, and that the American meritocracy doesn’t exist. Many of my peers got jobs at fancy places because their parents got them the jobs. My parents pleaded with me to figure out what I wanted to do, and I backed away and they dropped the issue.

It’s Spring 2011. I am 30 years old, and taking Chemistry 102 because I want to be a pharmacist, a profession my mom encouraged me to go for when I was 16 (though she didn’t know much about it; her friend’s daughter was going to attend a six year BS/PharmD program somewhere and suddenly my mom, looking like she’d snacked on a bag of sugar cubes, started piling on me about it. I declined, confused by the pitch. Pharmacist? Like work in a Walgreens? Didn’t she want me to do better, have an exciting life? I didn’t even know there were pharmacy schools or that pharmacists had doctorates.)

I’ve been letting all those thoughts swirl around my head for the past week. My great interest was in getting a really solid A in Chemistry this semester and getting my new prof to write me a spectacular recommendation.

As I mentioned before, I suffer anxiety. It’s not something that’s totally incapacitated me, and I don’t want to think I have anxiety on tests (because I don’t want to be that person whining instead of improving themselves and learning to control their monkey minds). I was sort of excited to take my first chem exam this morning. However, I’ve developed a couple of bad habits. One is that for nearly every exam last semester (Microbiology mostly), I pretty much stayed up all night. It was ridiculous, and every time I did it, I swore I never would do it again.

The last time I did it was for the Chem 1o1 final, and I was exhausted. I didn’t do that great either on it (not that I ever saw it). My new prof for Chem 102 gives a quiz every week, which I’ve gotten near perfect papers for so far. I also did all my homework and reworked problems. I have a solutions manual now, too, so I don’t have to drive super early to campus to look up specific problems.

Anyway, last night, I couldn’t quite stop studying. I’d been studying before, but the material wasn’t sticking. It only sticks the evening before the exam, like around 7 pm-ish. The trouble is that I can’t stop studying. I get excited, like I’m definitely going to get an A, if not a perfect paper.

The test was so many questions. I filled out the qualitative ones immediately. I don’t know why I felt confused. Probably because I stayed up all night long. Again. And I was totally exhausted. Why am I such a moron? I was so embarrassed. My professor thought I was smart and I realized how many stupid mistakes I made. I didn’t finish. Ugh.

So now, because we can drop one test from our total score, it will be okay. I hate thinking that my prof will think I’m stupid or anxious on tests. I had plans to impress her.

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