I buried my head in my hands as I tried to recollect the plethora of information that now seemed to be lost in my mind. My mind was absolutely blocked! As I scanned through the exam question paper, I felt more and more helpless.
God! I was really freaking out. Cold drops of perspiration trickled down my face as I tried to concentrate hard and remember what I had instilled in my mind over the course of the academic year.
I could remember nothing. I had just completely blanked out!
I was tense beyond reason. I tried to calm my nerves and tried to focus towards figuring out what to do next. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the block that now enveloped my brain.
“How can this happen? History is supposed to be my subject!” I reminded myself.
The thing is, history has always been the subject I excelled in. It’s been my escape. It’s the subject I study when I can’t focus on anything else. Or as some people would say, it is my solace. I’ve always been fascinated with the past and studying history gives me wonderful insights into it.
My history teacher had commented once that ‘history’ broken down is ‘His-Story’ and should be treated as such. She said that studying it like a story would make it interesting and would help me develop a knack for it. Sound advice indeed! It worked for me. Since then, I’ve always studied it in the form of a story and have always tried to correlate one thing to another while studying. Once I understood the plot of a certain chapter, it seemed to repeat itself in alternate forms. I guess it’s valid to say that ‘history tends to repeat itself.’
History classes have always been my favourite. Quite frankly, I liked being the teacher’s pet. My history scores have always been top-notch, much to the envy of my friends. But, then I do love the subject so.
It is the one subject in which I am always confident of scoring the highest marks and my expectations from the history board examination were similar. I was confident of securing the highest grade in it. I studied through the nights, learned all the dates and in general left no page unturned.
On the day of the exam I woke up very confident. I wanted to make it my day and just give it everything I got. On reaching school, my friends bombarded me with doubts and being able to answer their problems just added to my self-confidence.
Shortly, I took my seat in the examination hall. Soon the question papers were handed out and the reading time began. As I read through the paper the smile on my face gradually turned into a frown. I just slowly started to blank out. My brain felt blocked. It was like I could not understand anything. It was petrifying. I didn’t know what do? Tension started building up. It felt like I had forgotten everything.
I broke into a cold sweat even while appearing outwardly calm. Then, I collected myself, drew in some deep breathes and soothed my frantic nerves. I can tell you, it was the horrifying moment of my life.
After 15 minutes the examiner announced that we could start writing on our answer sheets. The reading time was over.
“You can do this. This is your exam, this is your subject and this is your day. Now buck up and do a smashing job,” I said to myself as I started writing the easy answers once.
I knew that I had to work through easy to hard in order to regain my confidence and also to get rid of the mental block.
Then gradually, as I progressed, I began to feel at ease.
“Heck! I know this stuff.” I thought excitedly, confidence returning.
Slowly but surely my anxiety gave way to certainty and from that point on the answers seemed to come easier. In fact, they started to flow as the blocks of my addled brain finally got unblocked.
So, here’s hoping that I well as I think I have done in the exam.
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