During score week, thousands of students received their standardized college admission test (SAT) scores. Since testing day, the days that had followed were full of anticipation and suspense. It was instinct to check my score as soon as I heard that scores were in. I couldn't manage to login to my College Board account quick enough, but as soon as I logged in, the numbers were displayed in large font. A pit in my stomach began to form. For some odd reason, my initial thought was extremely full of disappointment.
I should have expected it, right? Human error? Imperfection? I stayed up so late the night before testing day, absolutely sleepless. I was trying to recall all the equations from previous math courses I had stored away. Numbers, letters, problems and words endlessly flooded my brain. I felt so sick and uneasy. I cried and cried because I couldn't sleep, didn't feel prepared and knew how much this test would mean to my future.
Once gathering my thoughts, I sat back and realized that this standardized test score doesn't define me. What defines me are my triumphs, resilience, experiences, hardships, goals and everything that I am underway of accomplishing. I have endured far too much in my short life to ever allow a single score to make me think I didn't work hard enough. In fact, I have worked SO hard. In most cases my hard work wasn't focused on rhetorical analyses or long algebraic problems; rather, I worked hard on my wellbeing, mental health, healthy relationships, putting others first and processing all that I have been through.
At the end of scores day, I came to a consensus that although I am an intelligent being, most of my strengths cannot be shown or proven by a test score. In support of my consensus, I have published well-written articles for the Odyssey weekly. I am passionate about what I have experienced. I am open, no matter the subject or question. No test score could have convinced me that I'd have such an opportunity to share my writings. No test score will ever prove my unique abilities. So yes, I am saddened that we base so much of our futures on a single test score or two, but I know that I'll land the right job when they look past a single test score and see that I am more than qualified for what I spent years in graduate school for. So to every step forward towards my dream occupation, where I will never "work" a day, I will remind myself along the way that I am adequate to accomplish whatever I set my mind to.
May a single number never define you, because your strengths and talents cannot be expressed by scores.