After 3 months of studying and preparing, I finally took the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) a few weeks ago. I am so relieved it’s finally over. I feel like I have my life back. I’ve never been so stressed over anything before, probably because this stress was stretched out over a 3 month period. I had random meltdowns where I couldn’t control my tears or emotions. Even the smallest things like disputes between friends or misplacing my headphones would greatly affect me because all the stress was too much for me to handle.
It’s hard not to stress over a test that can have a huge impact on your life like getting into a school of your choosing. But looking back these past 3 months, it really felt like I wasn’t living. I was miserable hiding my anxiety behind a fake smile. My stress and anxiety levels were probably the highest they’ve ever been. When I’d try to relax and take a break, I wasn’t fully relaxed because the test was still there in the back of my mind, haunting me. I put my passion for music and making covers on hold because I was afraid of the guilt I would feel from not studying and investing my time in something else.
If I could change something about the way I approached studying, it would be to constantly remind myself that it’s just one test. No matter the results, it’s not the end of the world. This one test does not define who I am or the person I will become. I’m so much better than this test and the number score given to me. I wish I could go back in time and take back control over these past 3 months. This ride wasn’t worth all the unnecessary tears, anxiety, and stress. I regret studying and approaching the GRE in this way. It wasn’t healthy for me and it made me extremely unhappy. So my advice to anyone reading this is to remember that your happiness and mental health is more important than any test score and that you are not alone. We’ve all gone through the stress of taking exams before. But tests do not define you or your intelligence. If you do poorly, it’s not the end of the world. Learn from the mistakes you made and approach the situation differently next time. Move forward with optimism and confidence and DO NOT let stress and anxiety take over your life. You’d be surprised with how much stressing out can hold you back from achieve great things, maybe even a great score. When you let fear, stress, and self-doubt take over you, you’re holding yourself back from reaching your full potential. Power over the stress and fear because you are better than that. You are better than numbers and letters given to you on a piece of paper.