Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The GRE aka the source of my Great Anxiety

Some of you are probably aware that I took the GRE yesterday.

As of Sunday night, I was terrified and on the verge of yet another mental and emotional collapse. Despite the fact that every day that I've had off of work has been devoted to studying, I felt completely unprepared. Saturday night I called my mom in tears, sobbing away about how I was too stupid to take the GRE and asking what ever made me think that I could do this. Just like the song, "Do you... call up Momma when all else fails?" (Blake Shelton, "Who Are You When I'm Not Lookin'"). Yep, that's me, gotta call my mom!

 Essential study materials: my GRE books, dictionary, pencils, and flashcards. My two study movies. And, of course, my laptop!

Sunday I tried to rationally and calmly go through last minute things, namely vocabulary words that I've been struggling with and analytical writing prompts. Tangent: as an educated person who loves to read, it is very unnerving for me to come across vocabulary words that I have never even heard. I found several that I knew and didn't know the exact definition of, but to come across words that I've never encountered has been an unsettling experience for me. End of tangent. I also figured out what things to bring, what not to bring, and where exactly the test was held, so that helped. And then I reviewed what I had, what I still needed, and other basic GRE tips and began to panic again. And it was starting to get late and I knew I really needed to sleep. "I need some sleep/Time to put the old horse down/I'm in too deep/And the wheels keep spinning 'round." (Eels, "I Need Some Sleep"). I took a little melatonin and slept on and off on the couch for a couple hours, ending up in bed and asleep by 2am.

This morning, I woke up a little after 8am to an awful nightmare concerning someone hurting my hamsters. That was a very distressing way to start my day. I tried to dress kind of cute to bolster my confidence and put on make-up like Stephanie Plum swiping on extra mascara for courage. Then I proceeded to follow every little trick and superstition that I used to when I was nervous about tests in college. I wore a red ribbon, ate a good breakfast of eggs, toast, and chocolate. I followed that with a chai from Starbucks to avoid a caffeine headache later and as I walked in I chewed some peppermint gum. So here it is: I have heard (and never heard proven either way, but as it raises my confidence levels, I won't question it...) the color red, cocoa, and peppermint all stimulate memory. I figured I need all the help I can get. The rest is pretty self-explanatory. And the best part? When I opened my door this morning, there was a beautiful big balloon tied to my doorknob from Rachelle with a good luck card!
My superstitious items. The movie I felt like watching the morning of the test. Yes, High School musical. And my balloon!
Anyway, I ended up doing alright one the verbal reasoning sections, but did poorly on the quantitative reasoning sections. I am not sure about the analytical writing parts, but I felt OK about the first essay and pretty good about the second... except that I ran out of time one the second in the middle of fixing a sentence, so I will get counted off for that mess. I just hope I did well enough to get into graduate school. If not, I will take it again in a couple months. I get my official scores in 15 to 20 days.

I am SOOOO glad its over! Whew!


  1. It sounds like you did everything you could to prepare well, and I'm sure it will pay off. Nice work, Samara!

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