I come from a country where exams are the deciders of your destiny. Where I come from, taking that final exam badly when you’re 12 years old more or less spells absolute disaster for your future. So, you can imagine my anxiety whenever I hear the word “test”.
In my naiveté, I assumed this to only be true of my own culture. After all, I had never seen American students in a class at BU panic over anything. There are no frowns on their faces (although there are plenty on mine).
Imagine my surprise when a professor informed us that we’d have a test two weeks down the line in my class. Then, imagine my surprise as previously silent students roared to life as the word “test” hit their prefrontal cortexes like a sledgehammer. Their hands shot up, and their mouths formed more words than they’ve ever spoken in the past 3 weeks of that very class. It was like a firing squad.
“Do we need to know everything on a balance sheet?”
“Is it multiple choice?”
“Are we going to have to memorize all the definitions?”
“How many questions is the test going to be?”
Now, before you start panicking, know that it wasn’t an entirely unexpected test. It just wasn’t expected this early in the semester. To his credit, he did say we’d be tested, just not when.
As the questions continued, a chuckle welled up in my chest as a singular thought dawned on me: We’re all the same inside.
We might look different, and we grew up distinctly different. But say “test” to any one of us, and you see that slight rumble of fear in our hearts as we kick into high gear, searching for some kind of comfort to assuage that nibble of insecurity before finally coming to that singular, resounding conclusion:
I’m gonna have to study for that test.
Kenneth Lee, On-Campus Blogger
Kenneth Lee is a second-year graduate student pursuing his master’s degree in communication studies. He has travelled halfway around the world from the equatorial metropolis of Singapore to live out his personal dream of studying in America. Kenneth loves the snow, finding new food, lazing to Netflix, and hitting the gym.