By Jacqueline Nguyen

On the tranquil morning of June 6, my mom and I innocuously decided to make a quick stop at the Starbucks on the corner next to James Lick High School on the way to Mount Pleasant High School, my test center for the day.  I hadn’t slept as early as I hoped because of the anxiety of getting anxiety from the gravity of the test, so the plain vanilla latte should’ve done the trick.  I was also hungry, so she got me a Bacon Gouda sandwich as well.  Though I can’t recall how the latte was, I vividly remember the bacon, cheese and regret I tasted from consuming that demonic sandwich.

During the test, my stomach would not stop grumbling.  My face was paler than bleach on white out as I was working through section 4.  I can’t even remember what type of section it was because of my stomach’s incessant demands.  This continued throughout the entire test, and even the plentiful bathroom breaks would not stop my stomach from attempting to leap from my body.  At around the later sections, I was ready to pass out from the horror of the grumbling and holding in the farts.  I was sweaty, pale and a hot mess.  I knew I wasn’t going to get a good score on my first try at the SAT, and I didn’t.

Though, as much as I blamed Starbucks (and College Board if you remember that train wreck) for that repulsive number, I now realize that I was trying to deflect blame off of myself for my incompetence and laziness.  I came into the classroom not taking the test all that seriously.  I only did three and a tenth practice tests and spent all my free time on Netflix.  I was stressing out over the fact that this one number had some weight on the next several years of my life that I ended up doing other things.  Not only did I walk into that classroom with terrible stomach pains, but also with stress, an attitude and a desperate need to cry.

The takeaway from this is to prepare now, stay calm and keep a positive attitude, even if feigned at first.  Get as much sleep as you can the night before the test, which means at most minimal preparation only the night before.  Discipline yourself to work your way through those tests.  Finally, remember that you can achieve the score you want as long as you work hard for it (unless you’re reading this the night before then good luck).

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