When I was in high school, good grades came pretty easily. It may seem like a blessing but when I entered college I realized it was a curse; I didn’t really know how to study because I hadn’t had to up until that point. (And learning how to study while you’re also trying to figure out alcohol consumption limits and explore a new independence is exhausting!) Like most teenagers I took the SATs to position myself well on college applications. I took an SAT prep course and bought all of the Kaplan materials and test exams. My Dadtober even sat in on one of the classes for me when I had a soccer game so I didn’t have to miss out on the information reviewed. I paid attention in class and took some practice exams, scoring pretty close to the 1600 point maximum (not like 1580 close, but close ;)). So I was hopeful when Test Day actually rolled around, but I hadn’t really studied.
My high hopes were immediately deflated when I received the results weeks later. It wasn’t a bad score by any means, but I knew I could do better, so I decided to give it another try. I can’t remember if I studied in between the first and second attempts; my feeling is I probably did a little bit but it couldn’t have been more than flipping through material I felt I already knew.
I was more nervous the second time around; I now had something to prove to myself. When the results of the second SAT came back I couldn’t believe it!
I scored EXACTLY the same! Not even 10 points higher or lower. exactly.the.same.score. =\
So I threw in the towel. Most of the people I knew only took the test once. I took it twice to try to prove something that clearly didn’t work out, so I was done. I ended up getting into every college that I applied to, except the one that I thought I really wanted to go to. How you get into UC Berkeley and not UCLA will always be a mystery to me but I ended up at UCSD and as they say, everything happens for a reason. For real.
I bring this story up because on Sunday I ran a 1:56:32 at the Davis Stampede Half Marathon; 20 or so seconds slower, but basically exactly the same time, as my current PR. I didn’t
study prepare well at all the day before and now regret that minute-long restroom detour, but mostly, I know I could have done better. So next time I will 🙂