The last 20 or so months my entire world has been school. I had made a scary decision to leave my full-time work that paid quite nicely to go and live the student life to start a whole new career. That meant living in poverty in the basement of a friend's house, living on $25 a week on groceries all the time paying for the car, gas, insurance, rent and other expenses. I was lucky to get a line of credit at the bank that covered the tuition but I was on my own for the rest. Mental or what?
I just finished school recently and graduated. Now I have to attempt the provincial exams which if successful I will be considered a Massage Therapist. Cool huh?
I was motivated to write this blog post because there is a student in our class who is extremely negative and it.finally.got.on.my.nerves. She had just completed her exams and was telling everyone that she thought she failed it. I asked her why she thought that, she replied that she didn't have time to study because she had to work. This coming from someone with 3 jobs and who really doesn't HAVE to work all 3 to survive. She then continued with "I think I'm going to do something else instead". Some of us explained that with the amount of studying, sacrifice, emotional and financial investment with this program the exams were worth taking again if she failed them.
To be honest, the exams are not easy. The school runs comprehensive exams that mimic the exams we would be facing at the provincial level. They include a 100 multiple choice exam (on anything taught within the last 20 months) and a frightening practical exam. This practical consists of 7 stations: treatments, technique, 2 assesments, remedial exercise, consent and patient history. You have 10 minutes in each station to do what you have to do and hit all of the provincial standards. Easier said than done when nerves come into play.
Once you pass those, your name gets sent to the province where you will get the joy of going through them all over again. The thing is, the provincial exams are expensive and you don't want to fail them.period.
So here we were, waiting to get our results, and this one was complaining that she was certain she failed her exams. Not good for morale for the rest of us and frankly this was a story we had heard from her all year. A good friend of mine had missed it by 1% the passing grade is 70%, the school had forwarded her name to the province just the same, but she volunteered to do the school exam once more for the experience. I was there for support as we studied together and hearing that chick say she was going to fail finally.got.on.my.nerves.
Well my friend came out with a big smile on her face, she passed. The chick went in, came out and said she failed the exam. She then decided she didn't want to continue to be a MT and didn't want to do the school's exam a second time.
"You spent so much time studying, sacrificing for 20 months and now you are going to give all of that up!" several of us said.
She shrugs, "I don't think I'm going to continue with it now".
Then I got pissed off and my mouth opened, "Stop being so negative. You know everyone fails its OK but don't let pride get in your way and do the exam again. How much studying did you do?"
"I was working all week" that meant she barely studied.
"You didn't need to work all your shifts, some of us switched, cancelled and begged out of work so we could study for the EXAM OF OUR CAREERS!"
She shrugs and begins the negative talk again.
I put up my hand "Stop, I don't want to hear anymore, you are too negative, programmed yourself to fail so you're putting blocks in front yourself so you can blame them if you fail." I know, I know it wasn't the nice thing to do but I couldn't let her negativity get me down as I had to psych myself up for the provincial exams.
I've been down the negative thinking path and its a nasty spiral. Very difficult to get out of it. You have to reprogram your thinking, that's like catching the wind with a fishing net. You consciously have to change each thought to a positive one, or take a short cut and fake being positive until you become positive - it worked for me :P
So for the next 9 days, I will be studying like mad with my friend for the June 10 provincial practical exams. Our motto is FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.
Some articles to help with negative thoughts or feelings
gocomics.com: never underestimate the power of a good comic. My favorite is Calvin and Hobbes.
Overcoming negative thinking
Mayo Clinic: Positive thinking: Reduce stress enjoy life more.