The Unexpected Suck of the Last Week

So I felt pretty good about my preparation. I had kept to my schedule, more or less. I had kept current with questions, spent as much time as I needed to on special topics like acid/base, PV Loop, etc. And through all of this, I never felt too upset if I had to leave a page or two from each section for later, so that I could “come back to it when I had the time.”

And that’s exactly as it’s gone. There’s just one problem with this system: it fails in the last week. I never anticipated the change, but there came a point about a week before this coming test when I realized that every time I was reviewing something, it was the last time I was going to see it before the test. After spending two months looking over everything with a sort of focused laziness, I had set up a pretty stressful situation.

The reason I wanted to take so much time to prepare was to completely avoid this stress. Sigh.

So now, reviewing is an exercise in abuse. Oh yeah, I remember not remembering that fact that I’m not going to remember in a second or two. Hope to God that isn’t on the test. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

It’s the feeling of losing. I set out to hold everything in my head, and reviewing is just hammering home that no matter how much I prepared, it was just going to keep falling out, falling out. Every reread line re-remembered is testament.

I feel like I’ve stepped into the ring, seen my opponent, and gone four out of the five rounds. He’s stronger, faster, bigger. Through the blood, I can barely make out that he’s joking with his coach; that he’s not tired. The judges are looking at the girls with the placards, sharing cigars, not worrying about the last round since no effort on my part could change the ruling that is so cemented. I look at my coach.

“Coach, this fight is over. I can’t beat this guy. I’ve already lost.”

“I know, kid. But that doesn’t matter. Rules is rules. You have to fight the last round even if that means he kills you.”

With three days left, I stagger up. I slap my gloves together hoping the thud stirs some lost adrenaline. My legs change places not from heart, but from habit. I meet him in the middle and tense for the blow. The futility.


7 Responses to The Unexpected Suck of the Last Week

  1. Just take it a day at a time you’ve been preparing your ass off this and I’m sure your already prepared for it. Whatever you learn this week wont make much of a difference so relax…easier said then done I know. GL on the test though I’m sure you’ll do great.

  2. Steve says:

    Been there, bud. Stop studying now. Relax, you’ve done what you can. No more cramming. Enjoy the days up to the test, slog through it and be done. Prepare yourself for your feelings when it is over. There is immediate relief when you walk out, followed by an overwhelming certainty that you failed. The test is difficult, and you will leave having no idea if you aced it or failed miserably. I actually did very well, but the test left me feeling whipped. You’re gonna rock. I can feel it. Steve

  3. Mel Ona says:

    Hey Topher,

    You’ve already put in the hard (and smart) ‘training’ and be rest assured that you will execute a ‘knock out’ performance on the exam! Go in with confidence, bro, and believe that you have already won. This is simply another round in your quest of fulfilling your dream. Go get ’em champ!


  4. Parcho says:

    Don’t even bother opening a book the two days before the test.

    It’s a waste of your time and energy and will do nothing but stress you further. Just take the test.

    Stop. Studying. Now.


  5. […] i believe Topher called this “the unexpected suck of the last week.” […]

  6. […] The Unexpected Suck of The Last Week: […]

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