Taking an exam and falling in love

Sweaty palms, racing heart, so many questions: you’re either in love or about to take an incredibly difficult test. Or both. As I was tak(staring thoughtlessly at)ing my AP Literature test it occurred to me that taking a test is a lot like falling in love, or at least a lot like infatuation. For one thing, both an AP test and a crush are probably the worst things that could ever possibly happen to you.

Moving on, however, let’s focus on comparing and contrasting exactly what really happens during these two phenomena.

So: sweaty palms, racing heart, so many questions. “Am I in the wrong, here?” you ask yourself as you stare listlessly at the plethora of unfilled circles. Eye contact with anybody else at this point is completely fatal, lest you be accused of cheating. Your pencil relentlessly taps on the desk and time is rapidly running out. You’ve got to make your move, but is it the right one? Eventually you cave, filling in “C” because you haven’t filled that one in for a few questions now.

And how many of these symptoms can we directly relate to our unsightly and slightly embarrassing obsessions with our peers?

1. The sweating palms and racing heart

2. Constantly second guessing all of your life decisions (or at least the ones made in the last five minutes)

3. Lack of or fleeting eye contact

4. Time is not on your side

5. Unwillingness to make the move

Oh and not to forget number 6. Nothing would be better at this moment than to simply cease to exist.


Now, back to the infatuation part: you are trying desperately not to make eye contact, but you find yourself wishing to catch their eye. You want to hold their hand but you’re thanking the sweet heavens that you aren’t because if you did surely they would slide right out of your grip and label you the most disgusting, sweaty human being to ever tread the face of the Earth. And the bell is probably going to ring soon, or they’ll walk away soon, or you’re leaving soon; however it is you are about to be completely screwed over by Father Time when he takes away the focus of your attention, and you will be left to contemplate what could have been for the rest of the night. Finally, you know what you want to say. It’s all there, all of your feelings laid out before you like Christmas dinner, and so you open your mouth and…!

Nothing. Nothing whatever. You can’t make the move, you can’t fill in the blank. It’s too risky. So you take a moment to reevaluate your life and by the time that long and unfulfilling journey is over you have officially run out of time.

In the end, you walk out of the room wondering what just happened to you. Was that real life? Were there really 175 multiple choice and 3 essays? Did he really look into your eyes for exactly 2.56 seconds? It couldn’t possibly have been real. That must have been a dream. You look back into the room and see a new group of people, a new crowd trying to impress each other, a new set of victims. So you turn back around and you thank whatever you thank based on your religious preferences that you don’t have to do that again, and continue with your life until you encounter a new pitiful experience of human existence: the realisation that you’ve got a final coming up in two weeks.

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