Since Test Taking Anxiety Disappeared, I Can Enjoy Studying
Yoon-young Choi / Student at Jeonju National University of Education
Long Island Meditation Benefits
During middle school, the most difficult thing for me was dealing with my anxiety. Test taking anxiety was so severe, yet I could not find the reason. It wasn’t because I didn’t like to study or that my grades were bad…
Only test time was hell, crying every day due to anxiety and fear
I grew up living together with my grandfather and grandmother receiving lots of love. I didn’t care about my grades until 5th grade when I had a moment when my grades were good. I started to get excited about studying and in middle school, I started to study diligently and my grades went up even further. It was fun, and I could see the benefits in my grades from studying so hard… But then why was my anxiety so big.
In 8th grade, I rarely missed being first place in my class. But around that time, whenever it was test time, my stress would bother me. For 2-3 weeks during test time, I wouldn’t be able to digest anything and couldn’t eat well or sleep well either. Without knowing the reason for my severe anxiety and fear, I cried almost every night from the pressure. Every time a test was approaching, I felt I was experiencing hell.
My school years were more difficult than other kids my age due to my severe stress. Even my family who stood beside me had no other choice but to have a hard time. Meditation that people said were good, yoga, etc, nothing that I hadn’t tried. They all helped to calm my anxiety temporarily but didn’t really solve my problem. My chance to break free from that anxiety happened by coincidence.
A family friend suggested this meditation so I went with my mom. After hearing what the mind is and how to throw it away, I wanted to try it. I started to attend the local meditation center with my mom, and in 9th grade during my summer vacation, I decided to concentrate only on meditation. I told my homeroom teacher that instead of summer school, I was going with my younger sibling to the meditation youth camp over the summer.
Pride, greed, the source of my anxiety – I started to throw it away
Throwing away the mind was fascinating and fun. Looking back at my life lived until now and discarding those minds, I was able to start to see myself objectively. Due to my short stature, I tried to raise my pride through studying well. I could see how on the outside I was nice to my friends, but on the inside I was two-faced, looking down on them.
I also had a lot of worries about the future. Never having grown up hearing negative comments from my grandparents, I was struggling to gain that love from my teachers as well. My grades were my pride. I realized that when I thought about my grades falling, I couldn’t stand it and was tormented. As I did the meditation, I realized that I was stuck inside unrealistic worries and was drowning in it.
There were a lot of changes even with my family relationships. For some reason, I always felt discomfort within the family. The grandiose care of my grandfather was a big burden, and I was sick and tired of my parents who could not care much about me. My sibling who was 5 years younger than me got all the attention from my parents, and I disliked my younger sibling who played with me. I looked back on my life like a photograph and finally realized that my parents did their best in that situation, living hard to try to earn money for us.
I shed tears for my grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, and younger sibling as I was thankful towards them. If I hadn’t done this meditation, how could I have possibly had this gratitude being stuck inside all my worries and pride? Before, I would barely notice my mother who would come back after a hard days work at the pharmacy. After doing this meditation, I see her with warmth and lovingly hug her. My perspective of my younger sibling also changed. In the past, the action that was despicable is now the same action that makes me want to give all of my love to my sibling. Since we are doing this meditation together, we have something in common to talk about and my sibling has become my precious friend.
Just me studying without any worries, “Finally, I got the best out of life.”
I was surprised at myself for emptying my mind. But what was more surprising was seeing those who went to the camp with me change. The students who at first cared more for their outer appearance and spoke roughly later quietly sat down to do meditation on their own and their faces became brighter and softer. To cleanse the mind, I was amazed at how great it was.
I spent one month like that and returned to school for my first test. I had an experience I never even thought of. Not even crying once and rather I spent the time laughing! I was able to sleep comfortably until the day before taking the SAT exam.
The me who worried, then studied, then was sick and repeated it no longer existed, and now I have found me that can just study. I just concentrate on doing what I have to do. No matter how good the book or words were, the change was temporary and I would suddenly be back to the worrisome anxious me. That’s because that mind was still there. I was amazed and grateful at the me who was changing the more I emptied my mind.
Throwing away my minds and being at peace with my friends and family made them feel comfortable with me too. Even after returning from camp, I would go to the meditation center. If meditation is a tutoring center to study the mind, then I believe it must be a school that everyone must attend.
Although it was a meditation that I started at first to get rid of my test taking stress, now it is the greatest gift in life I have received. Even during test time, seeing how much at peace I am at, my mom states how I have “finally, you got the best out of life”. Doing this meditation I have attained more than I could ever say in words. No matter where or what I am doing, I am truly grateful for being able to be without all these minds and live peacefully.
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