Thursday, August 25, 2016

Encouragement for the board exam (that has nothing to do with studying)



It's a month before the board exam for librarians. This can be the most stressful time of your life. Rereading old journals of the whole year I reviewed, you wouldn't think I would top the board. Wouldn't you believe it, that due to stress I didn't even talk to my sister and father due to petty reasons! I struggled daily, with trying to discipline myself, with dealing with pressures from family, friends, and teachers. I admit that I even dealt  with (ever-present) depression, self-doubt, and loads of negative emotions.

I had a petty cold war with my sister during my review. And we only spoke and forgave each other on the day of the results! I only learned later that there was a problem with the results release, like God was waiting for me to forgive my sister first before the results. I'm not sure if these events had a connection, but it felt like that.

The pressure is only natural. You carry the name of your school, and your professional future relies on that exam.

But think of this as a blessing. I never had a time in my life that I was so focused on one thing (passing, and topping). It will never happen again, and after the exam, you will also miss this single-minded feeling. Treasure this time, because the important thing about the exam is you can also learn about more about yourself.

Listen to other people's advice, but also learn when NOT to listen. Before the board, what everyone talks about IS the exam. This can be very annoying and sometimes, tends to discourage than help. Do your own thing and learn to quietly slip out of toxic conversations.

Nothing beats hard work with faith. No matter how much you study, you can't cover everything. Trust yourself, trust God, and sometimes you need to trust your intuition during the exam.

Take care of yourself. Just because there is a board exam doesn't mean you have to study 24/7. Give yourself a break.

Accept the results and move on. If you pass, congratulations! If you don't, you have every right to mourn and regret, but then you also need to brush yourself up and try again. There is an advantage to failure: you can see your mistakes and plan how to correct them. Lots of people passed their second or even seventh try. And if you feel like this profession is not for you, there are other things to do in the world. The board exam is just a passing thing, it isn't everything.

Best of luck. Keep the faith.

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