It was the day after my 17th birthday. I was fatigueddue to the lack of sleep I received. I was up until the early hours of the morningstudying for a seemingly “easy” test.

It was my learners licence test.I had arrived at the testing station an hour early, justfor precaution. I sat outside waiting for my name to be called. I sat alienatedfrom the rest of my fellow peers. I was nervous for my result. I had studied for many hours and did not want to failafter all my hard work and I did not want that burden on me.

I glanced over thepages of the book; the distinctive ink smell entered my nostrils as each pagewas viewed. My hands shook, I was restless and the chatter around me irked me. Twoaffable girls beside me seemed less tense than I was. I queried if they knewanything about the test. They both commented how you always fail the first time;they both said this was their second time they were writing the test.

This didnot ease my nerves at all.What seemed to be eternity had passed we were summoned tothe testing room. It was monotonous room filled with touch screen computerseach assigned to a person; the air was stale and unwelcoming. The examinerstated the instructions far too quickly for me to absorb in my anxious state.

Thetest started, one question followed then next and I began to feel at ease. The questionsseemed familiar to me, my extensive hard work paid off. I checked my answersmultiple times and pressed “submit”. I turned away as I could not bear thestress of finding my results immediately.

I eventually built up the courage toglance and my result. The word “pass” caught my eye. I was so overcome with joythat I let out a shriek of happiness in the silent room. The examiner humorouslyput two thumbs up to congratulate me on my achievement.Thinking about this nowmakes me realise how much of a mammoth conception it seemed for me to pass mylearners test, I was more concerned for this test than certain examinationpapers at school.

I now see that it was not necessary for me to stress such alarge amount about it. So what if I failed the first time? So what if I did notget it before my holiday? I could always do it again.I stressed about what myfamily and friends would think of me knowing I failed. I was too concerned aboutwhat other people thought and put this test above things that were far more important.I sacrificed precious sleep which is much needed in a moody adolescent’s life, Iprioritised studying and stress over the enjoyment of my 17thbirthday which resulted in one of the least enjoyable birthdays I hadexperienced.

I did not listen to the people around me saying that the test is nothingto stress about, I pressured myself too much and it did not help me in the end.I now realise that I should not take things as seriously as mistakes can be fixedand I can always try again after I fail. Overall, I learned that work does not precedefamily as my relationships and my well-being is much more important than a test. 

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