The SAT is Just a Test
by Danna C., Hanover, MA I saw a billboard on the highway that read, "Don't worry ... it's only your life." It was a billboard for a PSAT/SAT preparation course. It scared me for a moment as I envisioned the not-so-impressive SAT scores that I would achieve. I thought about how these numbers meant the difference between a corner office with a view and a seat in a tollbooth on I-95. As I was cursing the billboard for reminding me of all the things I had to worry about, I had a sudden and silent epiphany. I realized that they were guilty of false advertising. One test is not the rest of my life; it is a small brush stroke on a much larger picture. So much of the canvas is not yet painted; it's up to me what colors I choose and what it will look like at the end.
Time is precious and it was not meant to be wasted on worry and stress. All the SAT/ACT courses in the world cannot prepare you for life. Your future is not divided into half verbal and half math. As high school students, we put most of our time and energy into schoolwork and the great college search, stressing ourselves out no end with what our future holds. I hope that we all take time once in a while to remember that life is what we make of it and that we will only get as much out of it as we put into it. What will be most important to us as we grow older cannot be taught. It must be learned through life experience. There is no book that can teach us how to love and enjoy being alive. We are not tested on the things that will make us truly happy. If I could change the billboard, I would have it read, " Don't worry ... it's just a test."
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.