What Does it Really Mean to “Give it Your All”?


I felt like I gave it my all. I stayed up past midnight and ran out of ink of five new pens writing until my thumb was swollen and it physically hurt me to grip a pen. On Thursday morning, I finished my Chinese exam at 9:30 am. From 10 am until 4:30 pm, with a mere 30-minute lunch break, I studied in silence in an empty classroom with a friend. I got home at 5:30, took a shower and studied until dinnertime. After dinner, I studied until 3 am the following morning. I set my alarm for 5:40 so I could study again until my exam at 8 am. All this for mocks.

When I left my final exam on Friday, I genuinely felt proud. I told myself that no matter what my results are, I should be proud of all the hard work I put in. But several hours later, I began to doubt everything. Not just my answers, but whether I could have done more.

That night, I cried myself to sleep out of pure frustration of not being able to ever be satisfied with myself. Throughout the entire month, I told myself it would all be over when I stepped out of the exam hall on Friday. I told myself that I wouldn’t think about everything that could have been because there’s simply nothing I can do to change the past. I so badly want to believe this. But my brain never lets me believe that there’s no use worrying about things that I have no control over.

I think it’s worth noting that even though I’m not quite satisfied with the work I produced, I am satisfied with all that I learned this week in terms of preparing for exams and how to calm down when test anxiety hits me really hard. I also learned that I have so many people who do care about me, and I can reach out to. I am also so incredibly grateful for many of my friends, but there is one friend in particular that I owe my entire life to. Despite living half a world away, his messages alone gave me so much strength. I know that he would genuinely be willing to talk to me on the phone even if nothing I am sobbing about makes any sense whatsoever to him. That bit was so badly written, but what I’m trying to say, is that I’m hella grateful despite everything.

I don’t really know what to say to people who struggle with the same issues as me, but one piece of advice I can offer is to find people you do trust and can talk to, whether they are teachers, the school counselor, your friends, or your family. Even in a world of 7 billion, it’s so easy to feel alone. But you have to understand that you’re never alone. I for one will be willing to offer a listening ear whenever just drop by a little comment and we can figure something out.

I hope all of you are doing alright, and if you’ve actually read all of whatever that was up there ^, thank you so so much.

Sending my love 🙂