Back when I had to take the SAT, a thought went through my mind: no more tests. I was tired of pop quizzes. The legendary SAT that I heard about in my years in prep school was now over, vanquished by my number two pencil. I could tear out the pages of my test prep books, throw them into a pile and light them into a bonfire. Maybe even dance around it.
I realize now that my prior thinking was naive to say the least. Why? I’ve decided to take the GRE.
GARG! If you don’t know, the GRE is like the SAT, but for graduate school. In my case, I am planning to take it after I graduate college. I’m anticipating going back to school for either a degree in education or public health, so my hope is to take advantage of critical thinking before they start waning from neglect.
I’m currently on a plan to study for it in 6 months. What a lofty goal. To be honest, returning to middle school math has been the most humbling experience of this vacation. I decided to go on a prep-track that would cost me much less and would afford me more flexibility. The one big con is it requires self-motivation and commitment, something I always seem to have a shortage of…
Here’s an example. This week’s assignment was to watch fourteen videos about Integers. I was thoroughly exhausted, and I thought I didn’t need to know any more about integers. I mean, prime numbers and prime factorization- pfft! I studied statistics and calculus already! Questions about integers should be a piece of cake! Wrong. At the end of the fourteen videos, I had to take a quiz.
It was honestly the hardest thing I ever had to solve. I felt so defeated. I didn’t even know how to approach some of the problems. So I didn’t. I walked away form the problem set. I almost gave up! I almost stopped because I was afraid of failure. It really made me ask myself why I was doing these problems. I’m no whiz kid at math. But I mean, even Einstein at one point in his life didn’t know what a number was.
I know that the only tried and true method I know to succeeding for me has been commitment and delayed gratification. So I’m going to keep trying and not beat myself up over making mistakes. Failure to me now is not the true enemy anymore. Failure is a sure sign that I still have something to learn.