I never let on to my family how tough a class is because I always get the same response – “honey, I’m sure you’ll do fine.” And I’m always thinking in my head no! I will not be fine! I will not always be fine! So I tried not to let on how tough physics was for me this past fall. I hinted around at it. Told them I was preparing for the worst. Emphasizing that I will have to retake this course elsewhere. Somewhere where they can tone it down to my level. I sat in counseling week after week and talked through how to deal with the anxiety physics caused me. The anxiety that kept me from even so much as studying at times, because I was too scared to crack the book open. I stayed up until 2 am each night the week of the final, littering the pages with multi-colored tabs with notes and focusing on keeping an open mind so that I wouldn’t get that tense frustration of just not understanding. And the evening of the exam, I stood in the kitchen for 2 hours eating crackers nervously reviewing notes and then went to class. First problem – rocked it, 100%. Second problem – I know what the concept is but I can’t quite figure it out, I’ll come back to it. Third problem – score, this was a homework problem, but wait. What? Why can’t I figure this out? I should be able to figure this out! What the hell?! Fourth problem – crap crap crap, 2 hours in, 1 hour to go. I went to the bathroom to get the panic out and then came back and just wrote derivations. Tons of derivations. A page worth of derivations. Problem 5&6 – are you kidding me?! Well, here’s a good guess.
I never did get back to the second problem. I came home. Really thought about how I did. Really really thought about the possible outcomes. I only actually answered one problem. I couldn’t imagine anything other than an F. A big fat F that would be 2/3 of my final grade. The other third was my midterm. Which was… ahem….a big fat 60%. So people asked how it went, and I was honest. The course kicked my ass. And there was no curve since the grades were already scaled grades down 5%, so a 75% was still somehow a B. And still, I couldn’t cut it. Ugh. I could deal.
So the professor emailed me today. I made a B. In the class. B. I KNOW! I’m happy. Ecstatic. But more upset that no one will ever believe me again when I say that a course kicked my ass! I am now known as the girl who cried fail.