How It Feels to Write Exams with Anxiety

July 1st…

It was a Sunday but not a regular one. I was to travel to another extreme of the city to write an exam. After graduation, writing exams remained no same. It’s not like you have passed the exam and here’s your job, okthankyoubye. I barely had any preparation but I had to write the test anyway. I was serious for a while, trying to cover as much as I could. But 2 days prior to the actual exam I lost it. I was roaming here and there, doing everything except studying. Unlike any other exam, I was not nervous because I already knew how bad my prep was. Even though I was not nervous for the exam, there were other things that troubled me.

I am that kind of a person, who used to complete her syllabus, got ample time to revise it and still got stressed before exam. I could not sleep, could not eat, my digestion system used to forget how to digest food instead of constantly pushing the food upwards in the food canal. My hands used to shake and my stomach ache. My parents took special care of me during exams, from cooking the light food to taking me to the exam hall, sometimes spoon-feeding me. (That’s kind of gross, I know.) This continued till I was at home with my parents. I didn’t have a medical condition but before every exam, I fell sick. It was the anxiety that made me sick. Years later, I still have that issue, except my parents can’t no more take care of me like a baby.

Besides my physical un-wellness, there is overthinking to make things even worse. For example, for this Sunday’s exam I had to wake up at 5 in the morning and start by at least 6 to reach the exam center by 8. They gave the address in the admit card. I searched it up and found it was 1 hour’s journey by car. I didn’t know the place, I copy-pasted the whole address in the OLA app. It wasn’t able to identify the whole input and was showing some nearby place.

I was afraid that I would end up going to the wrong place and I would search for the exam hall till it was too late to be allowed inside the hall.
…that my driver may take me in the wrong direction.
…that I may sleep till 9 am like other weekend and miss the exam.
…that I may throw up in the car.
…that I may not be able eat breakfast.
…that I may need to go to poop during exam.
…that I may forget to bring admit card.

I am not even exaggerating, this is exactly what my mind is before exam. I booked a cab at night (there’s an option to schedule a ride in future), I ordered some sandwich for breakfast and went to bed 2 hours earlier than normal. I didn’t get enough sleep, I woke up well before the alarm.

I nibbled on a sandwich and packed the rest, checked my back-pack for 6 times to be sure that I had everything I needed. I took a shower and dressed up. My cab was scheduled for 5:45 a.m. but the driver cancelled the ride without calling me. What is the point of scheduling a ride if driver is gonna cancel it at the last moment? Luckily I got another cab in time. While the driver asked me about the drop, I had to confess that I didn’t know the way, I told him to follow the maps.

Oh my God! Now he knows that I don’t know the way! What if he drives me to the wrong direction? 

I was following the map but as the map was not showing the exact building I was still skeptical about it. I was feeling sleepy and a little bit hungry as well. I was suffocating inside the car even if ac was on. The driver played some telugu song. I don’t know the language, I don’t know the context, it seemed to kill my brain cells one by one. I felt too shy to ask the driver to slow it down or stop it rather I chose to suffer. I wanted to close my eyes as I was feeling tired for the lack of sleep but I had to FOLLOW THE MAPS! By the time I reached the venue, my head was spinning, I was feeling as if somebody is hitting my head with a hammer. There was vomiting tendency as well. I felt better after drinking some coconut water.

 

I don’t know why exams make me so sick!

Finding the exam center was not hard, people were gathering near the gate. As usual bags were not allowed inside. They had 2 counters where people could deposit their bags and mobile phones for 20 rupees each. In the bag counter they didn’t take responsibility of any valuables inside the bag. I forgot to take out my purse and deposit it with my mobile phone. For the rest of the time, another fuel to anxiety added on.

What if my purse is lost or stolen? I don’t have any money to get a cab! What will I do then!

Then it was time to go to poop. It may sound ridiculous but whenever I’m too much nervous, I need to go to toilet and the need is absolutely UNAVOIDABLE. Luckily they had ladies washrooms, even though the door locks were on the verge of falling apart. Public washrooms are the worst. There is not guarantee of having water, tissue and soap/hand-wash.

Dear God, please save my dignity this time, please don’t send anyone in the way to this washroom till I’m here. If anyone pushes the door slightly, it will just open defeating the purpose of its existence. God heard my plea for sure.

Finding my seat wasn’t difficult, neither was the question paper. Nevertheless my exam was bad. I didn’t expect to do better anyway. The guy next to me probably said something to me in Telugu, I am not sure. I didn’t answer anything! The exam was over in one hour and all my sufferings, headache, stomach ache, everything vanished. Once again I was fully fit young girl. I collected my bag and mobile, booked my cab to home and waited outside the exam hall.

For my return, I booked a share ride as it was too costly to book personal ride. There was a middle aged lady seating in the front seat and a girl of my age at the back. In share rides you need to pay about 50 percent of the fare while spending almost twice the time in the journey. I didn’t have a problem as I wasn’t feeling sick anymore. I opened the window and enjoyed the cool air listening to “Hey there Delilah” in my phone.

Hey there, Delilah
What’s it like in New York city?
I’m a thousand miles away
But, girl, tonight you look so pretty
Yes, you do
Times Square can’t shine as bright as you
I swear, it’s true
Hey there, Delilah
Don’t you worry about the distance
I’m right there if you get lonely
Give this song another listen
Close your eyes
Listen to my voice, it’s my disguise
I’m by your side…
I didn’t care to follow the map, I just closed my eyes and started making plot of a lit video. I can tell you, some of the world’s greatest music videos I have imagined in my mind just like that seating in the window seat.
The car was running on the roads of Secunderabad, the part of Hyderabad I had never been to. It’s old, crowded and almost similar to my hometown in the looks. I saw the local trains after years. I grew up at a place where train line was a 100m away.  We used to hear the whistles, the announcement in the platform, the rumbling sound of the train all day, everyday. I saw the carpentry shops that piles up new and old wooden furniture outside them. I knew a similar road on my way to school, carpentry shops on either side of the road. Then I saw the local fruit markets, piles of fresh fruits at insanely cheap rate.
These are small things that were part of my everyday life. The people look very much the same, even when they won’t understand a word if I start speaking in Bengali.
Except the terrible exam, everything went fine. I enjoyed my long ride to home, on returning home I had a little food and took a good long afternoon nap until my roommate finally knocked the door.
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Credits :

Girls’ Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash

Train Photo by Ankush Minda on Unsplash

Fruit Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

 

 

 

Post Author: Molten Cookie Dough

A typical Pisces person.

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