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“Why Can’t I Bring Myself To Read?”—What No one Tells You About Preparing For An Exam

This is rarely ever talked about! But a lot of students experience it.

Have you ever been in this situation? You have an exam coming up in a few days but for some reason, you can’t get yourself to read?.

It’s not that you’re tired. Or stressed. Or you don’t understand the subjects you need to read. You just can’t mentally psyche yourself into reading.

Anytime you think about reading, you feel this sense of apathy. You do WANT to get good grades but for some reason, just the thought of reading drains your energy, so you DON’T read and this makes you constantly anxious (if you don’t feel anxious about not reading, then you have ALREADY decided to quit! Read on to understand better)

As someone who has experienced this often as a student myself, I’ll help you identify BOTH the problem AND the solution. This is what I’ve discovered:

The problem is fear. You don’t want to put effort into reading when it is possible for you to still fail!

This is not quite as straightforward as a fear of failing. Naturally, no one wants to fail. But in this case, it’s a fear of TRYING.

Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying.

Roy T. Bennett

See, you can be afraid of failing and STILL move forward, despite the fear! But when you are afraid of trying simply because of the POSSIBILITY of failure then…. It becomes a different ball game.

Because another element is added to fear. And that is CONTROL. When you fear the possibility of failure, you have this need to control things by NOT trying (or by trying TOO hard which can lead to serious stress/burnout) so that failure is no longer a possibility.

It may sound cliche, but when you don’t try, failure is no longer possible! Like Denzel Washington said: If you don’t fail, you’re not even trying.

Fear and control, they feed off of each other and it is a never-ending cycle.

It is true that unlike in other areas of life, in school, if you don’t put in the effort to read, it is STILL a possibility that you could fail!. In fact, the possibility is much higher than if you actually prepared!

However, when you fail like this, you’ll know it’s because you did not try and this might actually be easier to handle than when you DO try and still fail. Are you starting to see that actually trying (whether you fail or not) takes guts?

The BEST we can do at any given time is try, despite not knowing if we might fail or not. That’s how life is interesting. And that’s how it is scary.

So what is the SOLUTION?. How do you get out of this bothersome state of doing nothing, of NOT trying?

You have to make a choice. But note this: let your choice be what YOU want to do. Not what you feel you should do or what others expect you to do.

You can choose to FIGHT if you want to. Or QUIT if you want to. BUT take responsibility, instead of being scared of uncontrollable factors.

My advice is don’t quit just because you are afraid. If you are 99.9% sure you will NEVER regret quitting, then go ahead.

Staying in that point of “doing nothing” is pure torture. Choosing one path and taking responsibility of it is what life is about, it’s how you grow.

Having a support system also helps. Knowing you have people or even just one person you’re sure will be there to cheer you on, no matter what you choose (to fight or quit), helps you make the best decision for yourself a lot.

For some, your support system might be your parents or guardians, your friends, God, your siblings etc.

For some, you might feel like you have no one. Well I’d just like to let you know that we at HSCN are here to do just that: support you. You can reach out to us on instagram whenever you need to talk or you need advice.

Side note:- you may need to take a nap. It will definitely help you come to a decision. Sometimes your mind needs a break from all your obsessive thoughts and meddling to help you realize what you really want to do!

I hope reading this has been of help to you! Share with your friends!

Why is High School an unhappy or stressful place for you?. We need your help to explore the problems high schoolers in Nigeria face today, so that we can help solve them.

You can help us by answering a few questions. It is so easy and will only take you about 5 minutes to fill out the form. Just tap the button below that says “I WANT TO HELP”.


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