I was asked why I was ashamed of my performance, and how I would have to work on being more proud of my accomplishments. I tried to explain why I kept quiet in class (basically, I didn't want to make anyone feel badly about how they had scored) and I thought about it more that night when I went home. In my mind, I was no way ashamed of my performance (as evidenced by my blog the next day.) I just wanted to be sure that I was crowing to my friends who could be genuinely be happy for me, instead of irritating others who may not have scored as well as I have. I mean, I've been there too...when you don't get quite the score you were hoping for, and you really really really want to be happy for your friend who did well, but there's that tiny part of you that just wants them to shut up because you hate them and their high score. Bringing up that feeling in others, that's what I wanted to avoid.
And last night my feelings on the matter were enforced.
I don't feel good about the test last night at all. I mean, I don't think I failed like F failed, but I'm super nervous about it and probably won't stop obsessing about one stupid problem that I missed until I freaking get my test back on Monday. (four long days away.)
I have a good friend in the class, Jess, and we were going through a post test debrief during the lecture following the exam. (Yes, the professor lectures for 90 minutes following each exam. Seriously. It's like torture for your brain that has been reduced to mush. Ugh.) She's the one who enlightened me on the problem that I missed. I told her I had trouble on it, she told me how she did the problem, I realized she was correct, and I was
On autopilot, I answered, "an 81%."
She said, "What?!" Which immediately brought me back to reality.
"Um, an 81%." I said a bit more sheepishly.
"Oh my God! You are fine. You will be just fine. What are you even worried about? I can't believe you're worried if you got an 81% on the last test. Do you even know what I got?" [I didn't.] "You did so much better than I did...."
It went on and on. I have no doubt that she originally asked me the question in an effort to make me feel better about the big picture overall. And I'm sure she expected to comiserate with me about how we could still pass if we worked really hard. But the thing is, I don't want to just pass. I didn't come into this vet thing completely unprepared. I know how difficult it is to get into vet school, and I know (believe me, I know) that it's more competitive than med school. I know. So I can't just pass. I need A's. (I will grudgingly accept B's. I will not be happy at all about C's. Getting a C would be like failing to me. I never said I was easy on myself.)
And it's difficult to explain that to someone in the trenches with you. It's difficult to say that to you, missing one question on an eight question exam feels like the end of the world, because it already drops you down to a B, and that's if you got everything else perfectly correct (which, let's face it, you probably did not.) That doesn't really seem to matter. All the other person sees is that you got a much higher score on the last test, and for that it's easy to dismiss a bad score because it all evens out in the end. But me? I can't take that chance. I want the A that I'm working hard for. I DID do well on that last test, but that was the last test. I can't rest on that. I need to do well on this test, the next test and the final. I can't lose sight of that.
So when I get this test back, no matter what I got, I won't discuss it in class. If it's decent and I'm excited, I'll post here and have you guys be all exited for me so that I can be all proud and happy like I want to be. If it's horrible, I'll be sad and mopey and THEN you guys can tell me that it will be okay, and you'll all bring your animals to see me when I'm a
Have I mentioned that I regularly question my sanity when I think about what made me decide on this path for my life?