Remember when I did that post on stress and how to handle it? Well, let’s just say I got a crash course on it yesterday before my driving exam. I’m still feeling a bit shell shocked after the whole ordeal to be honest.
I know all you seasoned college/university students are like “Hello, welcome to the story of my life”. But before you judge me too harshly let me just say that 90% of all people don’t pass the exam the first time around. And the examinators are the most feared thing since the Wicked Witch of the West (you should hear some of the horror stories people told about them) Add a few nights of insomnia to the mix and you’ve got yourself a positively terrified person – me.
Come to think of it I couldn’t rationalize what I was really scared of. The worst thing that could happen is I fail and get yelled at. Ok, no, come to think of it the worst thing that could happen was I run somebody over 😛 (But obviously I wasn’t going to let THAT happen). But I was so stressed and anxious I was literally unable to do anything productive. All I could do was try to cram the material, remind myself of all the things I had learned so far and replay worst case scenarios in my brain.
Then I decided to stop worrying so much about something I had no control over. I decided to let whatever was going to happen happen and leave the rest up to fate. I was going to kill myself sooner stressing about it then I was going to cause any major road hazards – so I might as well just try to relax. And amazingly it worked. I had a drink, curled up in bed with a good book and fell asleep.
The next morning I had the jitters and was not hungry at all, but I fueled up with some “brain food” (i.e oatmeal of course) and set off to face whatever lay before me.
To make a long story short I passed the theory exam. I didn’t pass the practical exam because the instructor felt I “lacked confidence” in my driving. The truth was that my stress actually paralyzed my brain so I couldn’t think straight, and the lady prefered faster drivers. But as a whole I would call my experience a positive one because :
- I passed the theory exam perfectly. No mistakes were made there 🙂
- I realized that a) the examinators weren’t evil sorcerers that would turn me into a frog the first mistake I made – contrary to popular opinion they were human and quite friendly (at least the ones I met)
- I learned that stress is the best way to ruin your chances at anything
- I did at least 90% of the tasks correctly.
- I now know areas I need to improve in, so I can pass the next time around.