Want to be the girl with the most cake….

Our first organic chemistry exam is coming up on Monday. I’m nervous. I have not been doing well so far.

I think part of it is that I’ve been stressed. There’s been so much going on. And perhaps this sounds exceptionally silly, but I didn’t exactly realize I’d signed up for 12 credits. I considered Public Speaking a blow-off class, but the truth is, it has tests and stuff that’s due regularly.

I dropped Physics because I made a list of schools I wanted to go to, and I realized that a lot of them didn’t really even require physics or required only 1 semester, or they just need you to be done with both parts by the end of Summer 2012. So I can take the first part next semester instead.

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Letter from my lifecoach

Dear Priya,

You have 21 days until your September PCAT, and it seems like you haven’t been accomplishing much lately.

I’m not judging you, I’m just making you aware of it so we can figure out how to get you back on track. I think you probably felt overwhelmed because your strategy hasn’t been specific enough. It shouldn’t take so long for you to review the quant stuff. Seriously.

I’m not going to go into the whys–the only thing that’s important is how to get back on track. I have a few ideas:

  1. Stop psyching yourself out
  2. Do what you need to do to relax–just don’t overdo it or you won’t be able to concentrate
  3. It takes awhile to get into the “studyzone.” Once you get into it, you know that it’s a really happy and exciting place for you. You love to learn and you love to achieve
  4. Drink more water and less diet Coke.
  5. Don’t forget to take your iron supplements
  6. Let’s be more specific about what you want to accomplish on the weekdays, and be less scheduled on the weekends.
Remember how you felt the day before the July PCAT? You don’t want to feel that way this time. So get it together now.
We’ll talk more later.
Love,
Ursula Fitzmonster

Final final tomorrow

This hasn’t been a slam dunk semester. I took my Chem 102 final exam this morning. I did that stupid thing where I stayed up all night long (rested for an hour), but it was okay. I couldn’t think of the symbol for mercury (Hg), and that’s embarrassing.

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The Yuckness

I’ve been feeling very anxious lately about all the stuff that’s upcoming: standardized exams, quizzes, finals, etc.  My eyelid started twitching, and I can’t seem to will it to stop. I started having some panic attacks, even on days where there weren’t exams.

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Springtime in Chem II

Chem 102 has not been good to me recently. After doing poorly on an exam, I wanted to establish “control” over my performance, so I studied all night (I know, I know, I told myself no more all-nighters and broke the rule again) and then went to bed from 5am-7:15am, and got up and went back to my desk to take a look at the final type of problem.

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Bad (idea) study habits

I can’t remember if I’ve written about my bad habits before, but I certainly haven’t improved. Part 1 of my second big Chem Exam of the semester was this morning (conceptual stuff on acids and bases and aqueous ionic solutions), and I did what I always so the night before the exam. I stay up all night and get frazzled.

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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.

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Weekly quizzes

I took my first Chemistry quiz. I stayed up all night because I wanted to get a 100% and make a great impression on my professor. I may or may not have gotten mostly everything right (or worth partial credit), except I know for sure that I misread an exponent as I tried to work quickly.  I thought she was trying to trick us, so I gleefully answered it. I couldn’t see the clock, so I just worked faster after one person handed in their quiz.

I don’t know why I’m so darn slow while I’m taking a quiz. I think it’s probably because I’m trying to think and not be scared. It takes me twice as much energy to focus and calm myself down. I always want that feeling of mastery and confidence but I never get it. I just end up feeling lucky. I hope I get at least 7 points out of this somehow. It sucks. I wanted it to be perfect. It sucks that I have to continue to worry about the mistakes I make because I make mistakes. I feel better that the smart pre-pharm Cal grad also might have  messed up.

I just want to eat lunch and take a long nap. I haven’t been interested in sleeping much lately. Part of me feels like I don’t deserve to sleep or that sleeping is boring. It’s really weird. I don’t get why I’m like this. It’s so ridiculous. God, Priya, chill out already and stop thinking about how you feel or what you’re worried about. Christ Almighty.

A tired October

I just took my first Microbiology Lab Practical. And I feel ill.

Not that I think I bombed it. No, I feel ill because I feverishly made flashcards yesterday. I’ve been trying to figure out how to study best for these things, what to expect, etc., and I overprepare and underperform. I’m attracted to complicated information that comes in handy maybe 1/50 questions.

I slept about 2 hours last night because a perfect exam in Microbiology is my white whale. I saw that on the first exam, two people scored perfect papers. I didn’t. I got a low B. The average was a low C. Read the rest of this entry »