the night before

this year marks my 20th year of formal education. out of those 20 years, i have been subject to objective forms of evaluation (aka examinations) for 15.

you would think that 15 years would be enough to desensitise me to the anxiety, fear and self-doubt that comes in tandem with exams, but nooooooooooo.

here i am, the night before my nth exam, and i am freaking out. i don’t rummage through my notes, feverishly read textbooks or stutter in front of the mirror when i freak out. i blog. i listen to music. i don’t even pray like a good christian girl should simply because i don’t want to think about what’s going to happen tomorrow.

i don’t want to think about tomorrow.

i don’t want to think.

it disappoints me that i still think of exams as something i have to do well in in order to live up to the expectations of others – my parents, my examiner, my juniors who show far too much respect for me. it disappoints me because those motivations are external and don’t come from within. what makes it worse is the fact that formal assessments are an integral part of medicine.

the exams don’t end at the undergraduate level. they just don’t end. period.

i’m convinced that if i don’t find some way to chill out and relax tonight, i am going to screw up badly tomorrow, the same way i screwed up in some of my osce stations last eos. it wasn’t the lack of knowledge that led me to fail those stations. it was pure nerves…nerves that come back to haunt me every night before an exam.

you’d think 15 years would be enough. it isn’t.

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