Having Hope

With all the uncontrollable things going on in the world around us, it makes sense that a lot of people are afraid of what might happen. If you have anxiety, you likely know that one of the worst things you can do is give into whatever is making you anxious and letting it take control of your thoughts. While I mostly ignore things in the world around me that make no direct impact to me, I have found that there is one thing that works to help me conquer my anxiety. Hope.

I tend to get very anxious about things related to school. Papers, projects, midterms, and finals have gotten the best of me in the past. I have learned to have faith in my abilities and find ways of studying that work for me.

For papers and projects, I feel less anxious if I give myself enough time that I can read over it one more time before I have to submit it. While this means I have to get ahead sometimes, that also means I am not procrastinating.

For midterms and finals, I have to study the night before and do little to no studying before the exam. I found that I almost always forget what I tried to cram in in the 10 minutes before the exam.

The worst anxiety is always for the bigger tests. I was a complete wreck before my first SAT, ACT, and CSET (Multiple Subjects 1, 2, and 3). The days before were torture and I often panic so much that I just want to not go to the exam, even though I know how important it is for me to go and just do my best. My SAT and ACT scores were good enough to get into my first choice college, and good enough that I do not have to take the CBEST (a general education test for those who want to be teachers) to apply for the teaching credential program I want to go into. I haven’t gotten my CSET results yet, they should be reported this week, but I know that if I didn’t pass the first time, then I have time to take them again and focus more on studying.

Maybe I am more afraid of these bigger tests because it feels like they are more important for my future. Even when I was really young though, I would be nervous about things like STAR testing (it’s called something different now). I started STAR testing in second grade and had to complete it every year after that except my senior year of high school. In 4th, 7th, and 10th grade, these exams were even more important because those were the years they were measuring our school performance on. I always passed these exams with either advanced or excellent results, but knowing that, or knowing that they were just seeing what I know never helped, I was often a little bit anxious, from when I got to school to when I actually opened the testing booklet. That’s another thing, I usually panicked a lot less once I saw the actual questions.

Anyways, I have always had a bit of anxiety, whether it be academic, testing, social or even separation anxiety. It was harder for me to deal with when I was younger and couldn’t verbalize or understand my anxiety. I now know that there are some things that I can do to help control my anxiety. Taking two Tylenol before exams or presentations helps me to calm down, as does listening to music (listening to music can backfire because I often get parts of one song stuck in my head and they repeat over and over as I take the exam, even if I don’t particularly like the song, instrumental music or movies scores helps with this but I don’t find them as relaxing).

The biggest thing though, I having hope. I have to tell myself that no matter what happens, I will be okay. If I get a lower grade than I wanted, it will be okay, I just have to work a little harder next time. It I don’t pass the CSET, I have time to take it again. I have to have hope that things will be okay, as long as I do my best. And I have to have faith in myself. I know that I am smart, and that worrying does not help me remember anything. I just have to believe in myself and remember that there are so many people on my side who believe in me too.

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