I just walked out of an Economics midterm, and I completely bombed it.
I’m the first person that will preach to a worried student: “It’s okay! Grades don’t define you! Now you know your weak points, and you can pick yourself up and do better next time!” Right now, though, I feel like a failure. I am trying to keep in mind that I have so much more going for me than just this one class and I have the entire remainder of my university career to learn, grow, and improve — both grades-wise, and intellectually.
There are some things that all students face when we don’t do great on evaluations. Here’s a list of four things that you might go through if you ever find yourself in my situation…
- Walking in confident, skimming over the questions, and realizing that you barely know any of the material:
The time to hogwash/rubbish/fake (all synonyms for a much ruder word that starts with B and rhymes with fit) your way ’till the end begins now! The moment I realize that there is no hope is the moment that I unlock my capability to feign my way through; the professor won’t be able to help but be impressed with my creativity, I tell myself.
- Being the first person to walk out of an exam:
This can go one of two ways. Either you know the material so well that you speed through the evaluation, or your answers aren’t up to par with the other students who need the full 1.5 hours to come up with quality material. Whichever way it goes, you’re usually left looking around, wondering why no one seems to be past the first page.
- The professor opening your booklet before you leave the room:
Bless the professors that wait until they are in the privacy of their own offices to look over their students’ work. I mean, I can’t help but stare in horror/run out of the room (depending on whether or not they hold me hostage until time is up) when I see a professor casually skim through my work before the last ten minutes is called out. Are they judging me?
- Eavesdropping on students talking about how easy they found the exam:
Today, I heard one student say “that was the easiest test of the semester!” Granted, I’m always happy that their hard work paid off for them and wish them the best, but way to unknowingly sprinkle (or dump) lemon juice on my fresh wounds. My bitterness usually gets the best of my in these moments of despair…
Doing badly on tests and exams is probably one of the most unpleasant things about university. I’m not too worried, though; there is always, always space to laugh, grow, and learn from our mistakes. Failing a test does not make me a failure. I will shake it off! I got this, U of T. You got this. We’re going to be okay.