Dillan, Age 14, Aurora, OR

 I woke up on the morning of my exam with nothing on my mind except the blaring of my alarm clock, but when I looked at the date on the clock, reality set in. The exam was today, and I felt as if a ton of bricks had fallen on my shoulders. The biggest exam of the year, and I was already fearing that I would blank out before I had even gotten to school. The problem was that I had forgotten to study the night before, so I jumped into the shower to try and let my worries wash away.

I tried to forget my anxieties on the way to the school on the bus. Then my friend got on and started talking about how he was going to ace the exam because he had studied for over an hour. That just made my worries jump to another level. I managed to steer the conversation away from the test, but it still lingered in the back of my mind. When we got to school, all anyone wanted to talk about was the test. Some said they would fail and others said they would ace it. By then I was so nervous that I didnít even bother to say hi to any of my friends. I was still nervous in my first class, P.E.
In P.E. we played a game called Shark Tag. I usually enjoy that game, but in my nervous state it wasnít fun at all, knowing that the exam was next period. In the locker room, however, it was the same story as the bus, all anyone wanted to talk about was the biggest exam of the eighth grade. If we failed it we were most likely going to have to retake the eighth grade. I was such a nervous wreck that people began asking me questions that I was incapable of answering. When P.E. ended, all the people who had the exam next period like I did took an extra long time to get dressed into our street clothes.

When we walked into the classroom, no one talked and everyone silently took their seats. We wrote the daily schedule for that class and trembled in anticipation. Our social studies teacher finally handed out the test with its seventy-two questions and I went blank. I wrote my name on the top as well as the date and the period. I glanced at the first question: Which branch of government interprets the law? This was one of the first things that he had taught us. As I looked at the rest of the questions, I realized that none of this was as hard as I had expected.

A week after taking the test, we got our results, and I realized that because I had paid attention in class all year, I had aced it. The entire thing had been over dramatized and I actually never did have anything to worry about. I had worried over nothing at all, and I never worried like I did ever again.

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