ACT is miserable

If you know me, you would know that my main coping mechanism with high school stress was to cry. Ask any of my friends, I sent countless crying selfies on Snapchat and openly posted crying pictures on my "finsta." I cried for a variety of reasons. There were tears of pressure to do well from my high school, tears of frustration for not understanding a lesson in class, tears of exhaustion, and just typical tears of stress. But, it wasn't until my junior year where I cried tears of insecurity. My insecurities were triggered by the one and only ACT.

The beloved ACT prep begins at the beginning of junior year, which is when all the college mania starts. The college tours never drained me. I actually enjoyed them. My family always made them into fun weekend trips where we tried to find the best dessert places on campus. I never dreaded the tours like a lot of other people did at times. What I dreaded more than anything was the ACT.

I started my ACT prep in September of my junior year. To be honest, at first, it wasn't that bad. I would do different practice tests and received scores that I was pleasantly surprised and content with. I studied week after week until I took the ACT in December. I remember going into it being pretty nervous. But I got nervous before every test so I didn't really think anything of it. After the long four hours of English, math, reading, science, and writing, I was absolutely drained. I walked out thinking that it was a hard test, but I was hoping all the studying I did would pay off. At that moment in time, I knew all I could do was wait until scores came out.

A week and a half went by and scores were up. It was winter break, and I was anxious to check mine. I decided to check anyways because I wasn't going to let a number get to me. I went into my parents' room, logged onto the ACT website, and checked. I opened my score, and I was confused. The score I received was very low. I am not going to share any of the numbers, but it was well below my what I thought was an obtainable goal. My mom could see the disappointment in my face, but I played it cool and just tried not to care. But in reality, I cared and was upset.

I decided to study my butt off from January until the next test I was going to take in April. After countless weeks of studying and using every trick and skill out there, I took the test again. I felt a lot better about this one. A week in a half later scores came out. I was eager to check it. I decided to check it at school. Big mistake. I went up one point. I was horrified. At that moment in time, I didn't feel smart whatsoever. I felt defined by a number, and I most certainly didn't feel like I was good enough. I was so confused about how I could study for three and a half months and only go up one point.

So, I cried and I let it get to me. I have always felt confident with myself, but for some reason, the ACT brought out all my worst insecurities. It was so hard for me to see people done taking the test when I had to continually study. It definitely got hard for me to keep pushing myself and telling myself it would all be okay. But then it didn't feel okay. I started doubting myself and my true abilities. I felt sad. I felt stupid. I felt like I was getting nowhere and wanted to give up more than anything. I told myself I wasn't going to let a number define me. Instead, I then I started to let this silly number take over my confidence.

In the end, I never did well on the ACT. Instead, I let it get to the best of me. To this day, I still struggle with my academic confidence. School became the root of my insecurities because of the ACT. I have become very hard on myself and put an unreasonable amount of pressure on myself when it comes to school. Part of this is because I care about school and want to do well. Another part of me is still trying to prove to myself that I am smart and the ACT doesn't matter anymore. At the end of the day, the ACT has been done with for over a year and doesn't mean anything. Letting the score I received get to me is something I wish I didn't do to myself. I wish I didn't get as overwhelmed as I do, and I wish I gave myself more credit for the hard work I put into school.

Although I lose confidence in myself at times, I am working to not get so stressed and down on myself about school work. A number on a quiz, test, paper, or project does not define who we are as people. Life goes on and there is more to life than the numbers.

Here are some of my finest moments

Lizzey Erlebacher

Lizzey Erlebacher

Lizzey Erlebacher

Lizzey Erlebacher

Lizzey Erlebacher

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Taylar Banks

May 25, 2020: the day that will forever be remembered as the day George Floyd lost his life at the hands of cops.

The day that systematic racism again reared its head at full force in 2020.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 17 Black-Owned Businesses Ship Baked Goods, Rosé, And Even Fried Chicken Nationwide

Eat your way through this country's greatest food — from your couch.

Call it the easily bored Gemini in me, but I'm constantly looking for new food to try. Usually, travel quenches my taste for new and exciting cuisines, but given the fact that international travel is not always a possibility, I've begun exploring alternatives.

In the interest of wanting to support the Black community and Black-owned businesses, and also wanting to try some of the country's greatest food without having to get off my couch, I started off (pessimistically) doing research, only to find that the options were vast.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

24 Beauty And Style Brands Donating To The Fight To End Police Brutality Against Black People

From small, boutique brands to legacy fashion brands.

The worlds of beauty and fashion often collide, whether for good or bad. In both, underrepresentation has always been, and remains to be, a major unresolved issue. After the recent killing of George Floyd, many people are rightfully enraged, compounded by the fact his death in police custody wasn't an isolated incident.

Police brutality against Black people is not new, and isn't going away till we start dedicating resources to fighting it. Many of us, as individuals, have only begun in the last week scratching the surface of what it means to educate ourselves on race, historical race relations, and how to be an ally to the Black community.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Can Still Connect While Disconnecting From Social Media

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a lot going on right now, particularly in relation to George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and public protest of racial injustice in the United States. While we can all agree that this deserves conversations, change, and actionable good, social media arguments with Great Aunt Linda are not where social change begins and ends. Spending too much time scrolling through your phone has never been healthy, but now it's even more addicting — what does that one person from my hometown say about this? How can I further education within discussions? Am I posting enough?

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't know about you, but reading is at the top of my to-do list this summer... especially with all the social distancing I'll still be doing. If, like me, you're hoping to pick up a romantic page-turner (or a couple dozen), here are 23 romance novels by Black authors you'll absolutely LOVE reading.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

22 Black-Owned Etsy Shops With The Perfect Gifts For Everyone In Your Life — Including You

Treat yourself and your loved ones while supporting Black creatives and artisans.

R-KI-TEKT, Pontie Wax, Lovely Earthlings, and blade + bloom on Etsy

The world is taking action against the injustices and under-representation plaguing Black lives, and one small but impactful thing you can do to actively make a difference is support Black-owned businesses.

Etsy is likely one of your go-to sites for gift-buying, but have you ever paid attention to which independent artists and sellers you're buying from?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

True Self-Care Is HARD, That Face Mask Isn't Actually Going To Solve Your Problems

There's a line between self-care and self-destruction.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few years has seen something somewhere about self-care whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or their Instagram feed. Oftentimes it's pictures of celebrities or influencers sipping green smoothies or slathering on mud masks with #selfcare. It's posts like these that made me realize that "self-care" has become the ultimate buzz word, soaring in popularity but in the process, it's lost most of its original meaning. It's time to set the record straight and reclaim the term.

Although self-care has been around for quite some time, within the past few years it's been misconstrued and commodified as our capitalist society tends to do with things it thinks can be profited off. Self-care is now being peddled as something that can be bought and sold on the shelf at Target rather than something that takes real work to achieve. This fake self-care movement is not only enabling people to over-indulge themselves, but it has created a crutch for people to avoid the responsibility of taking true care of themselves. Instead of doing the work that needs to be done, many people fall into the trap of rewarding themselves for doing nothing at all — this can quickly become an unhealthy coping mechanism, especially with corporations cheering us on (to buy their next product). Long, hard day at work? Just grab your third iced coffee of the day! Fight with your SO? Buy that 50-dollar face mask, it'll make you feel better! This is how self-care becomes self-sabotage and self-destructive.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments