20 minutes, oh god. Eyes soar, weak, the nervousness. Get yourself together, c’mon, you have done this before, just roll with it. Heart thumping out of my chest, can’t handle the pressure.

My teacher babbling about some crap again. “And that is how you simplify polynomials.

Wait, what? OK, ok, ok…. I get it now. When is this class over? Sound of the bell ringing in my ears. Oh no… thumping chest now audible and fierce. Why did I not prepare enough, why? Why me? Why do all the smart kids understand, what do they do that I don’t? Ok, Michael get yourself together, this isn’t going to ruin you. Students around me laughing like there’s nothing hard about this. When is it going to stop, when?

*Bell ringing*

Well, there is my signal of execution, oh-hohoho. I can understand why colleges are hard to get in to. Maybe I am more of a creative person, one with a hidden talent.

Class, please sit down we are going to execute this test momentarily.

“Execute,” I think he is referring to me. All the material I was supposed to learn, how do you remember it, does he think I am some sort of scholar? This exam covers the whole year, and I was pretty much a dick to the teacher. Foot thumping on the floor. Heart racing. Well here is another goddamn test, if only this were easier. If only I knew the answers.

Ok class, begin….

Saturday, June 15th. Seeing my parents looking at my report was hard enough, now I got to be depressed about it. Can I be happier, I mean everyone around seems like they’re happy, so why not me?

Michael, look what I found in the mail?!

“What did you find?”

Is this a joke?

Uhh.. the look of an F on paper looks worse than you could imagine, “Why you gotta show it?”

Time and time again I have told you that we are a more intelligent household. What do you not get?

I just stood up and left.

The increasing speed of time gets to you. One week now seems like a day for some reason. I mean I am only in my sophomore year. Who cares about me? Let me just go live my life as someone who didn’t go to college. There is a big competition anyway.

*Phone buzzing in pocket. * “Hey Arthur, how much did you get on the test?”

Another A, these things are easy.” How do I have such smart friends?

Listen, Michael, wanna hang out.

Well, obviously I went, I have nothing else to do. Knocking on the wood of my friend’s door sounds hollow. The opening of the door is even louder.

Hey come on in, sit. So, what was your test score?

“Pretty bad, I would rather not tell you.”

Again?! Someone needs to help you, dude.

“How do you do it?!”

Well, I don’t even study that much, to be honest.

Is he serious right now? “Are you joking? Am I just dumb?”

It is the way I study. Have you ever seen me in class talking to other students? The secret is not in the talent of each person, but more like the method you use to study.

“I still don’t understand. Look you are just smart; at least I have other smarts.”

Michael, Michael, here. This is how I do it. Do you see my schedule, anything strange?

“Yeah, when do you study?”

That is exactly the point, I listen in class, I learn from the teacher and get respect from them.”

“So, me cramming for a test is not the best method… but it works for other people!”

Michael, those people that you see can handle the stress of this terrible system, you can’t. So, you are going to have to change something, and this is how. Look if instead of cramming for each test, quiz, and project which never worked, you could instead listen and enjoy the class. Well maybe not enjoy, but you get the point.

“Nah, ela-bor-ate”.

Listen to the teacher, follow the class, and get into the rhythm of it. Look I figured out this amazing system, and I am giving it to you for free.

“So, what you are saying is; listen to the teacher, pay attention in class, do the work and I am all set. But what about my grades now?”

Michael your grades stay in the past, and you can’t change them, but the best thing you can do is use my method to get A’s now. Trust me you are going to understand why I get A’s. The only thing you can change is what you change now, I believe in you, and you still have a chance. Don’t waste any more time, attack those tests like it is something the teachers give to find out you have been paying attention. Don’t show him that you have been cramming and procrastinating. Of course, it will take time, but in a month, you should be set.

After implementing his system, now I understand that cramming for tests is one of the worst things you can do for your mental health and physical health. I want to help people who were just like me, people who think they are just dumb. I say you are not, and just like me, you do have a chance to fix things. This is not a 2-minute fix, this has to be a habit. How long does it take to form habits, what about: “On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.”

I used this system, and I can confidently say that it works. Remember to enjoy what you are doing, and do not waste any more time. You got this.