Avid readers of the blog may notice I have been M.I.A this past week. Ask any of my friends or family and they would have the same thoughts. I’m usually the loud bubbly one. The one who lets everyone else know it’s time to eat, time to leave, time to dance. But this past week, I couldn’t be heard, and I could barely be seen. It wasn’t time to do anything but study: My very first O-chem exam was fast approaching.
Organic Chemistry is a rite of passage for any life science or pre-med major. It’s known to be the most difficult, frustrating and potentially rewarding class in undergraduate education. The first exam in Organic Chemistry is a big deal. It sets the pace for the rest of the semester, and has on it some of the easiest (easiest is a relative term here) material of the whole semester. Because of this, the pressure to do well on the first exam is enormous. The problem: O-chem exams are on Fridays which means the entire week I could think of nothing but how much I wanted it to be the weekend, but I had one rather tall hurdle to jump at 8 a.m. Friday morning.
Every night of the week I went to bed thinking about carbons and hydrogens, and at every meal all I could think about was the problem I had been working on before I left for the dining hall. I just wanted so badly to do well, but there was so much material to get through I didn’t think it was possible. This past week was for sure a test of my endurance and determination. It was a mental marathon. I knew I needed to stay focused.
Thursday night came and went much faster than I had hoped and before I knew it, I was waking up at 6:15 a.m. to prepare for the exam. I just kept telling myself that whatever happened, my weekend would begin by 9 a.m., and it did. I left the exam feeling like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I did it. I somehow survived my first ever organic chemistry exam. I spent that afternoon cleaning my room, washing my dishes, sleeping, and doing other things I had neglected throughout the week.
I know this all sounds very crazy to people who aren’t in O-chem. How is this different than any other test? For me, and I think a lot of O-chem students would agree, it’s about the feeling of accomplishment that comes from succeeding in such a hard class. All we ever hear are horror stories, but for once I want to hear a success story, and wouldn’t it be great if that story was my own?
Here’s to one relaxing weekend before it all starts again next weekend!