The title does *not* reference a CI failure of any sort.
Remember my freshman year?
Remember how hard I fought for accommodations? How much I struggled?
And then remember sophomore year? How I barely got any sleep? How I accepted the fact I'd just have to work harder than everyone else? How I figured if I just studied hard enough I could make up for what I missed in hearing?
And remember that one class I took for the past two years? I literally spent hours nightly slaving over the textbook reading, carefully taking notes- hoping that what had been discussed in a class of 50+ students would instead be absorbed by reading and rereading the material.
At the end of the two years, I took the national exam. It doesn't really serve much of a purpose besides the opportunity to receive college credit. Basically "testing out" of a college course. It's a culmination of all the work you've put into the class, giving you reassurance that yes, it was worth it.
I didn't think I'd done very well, but I hoped for the best. Scores came in the mail in rounds. I heard as more and more people received their letters and received outstanding scores. They never studied nearly as much as I did, so I thought maybe all my studying would pay off.
It didn't. I didn't just "not do as well I'd hoped"; my score was nauseatingly bad.
Maybe some people would shrug it off and think "better luck next time."
But I'm not like that. Instead I reflect. I overthink.
I always thought that if I worked hard enough, I could achieve anything. But maybe that's not true at all. Am I completely out of my league? If I did this miserably bad on an exam with a class of 50-something kids, how in the world can I handle competitive college classes that can be 5, even 10 times bigger, let alone years of medical school?
Have I completely overestimated myself?
Don't get me wrong, working hard has gotten me far. On the surface, I'm doing pretty well. I hear and speak, by most standards, well. Working my butt off and barely getting any sleep has allowed me to stay in the top 5% of my class (for now).
Is it even worth it? Where is this going to get me? Are my standards just set too high? If I feel so burnt out now, where am I going to be five, ten, twenty years from now? Will there ever ever be a point where I can look back and comfortably say, "it paid off."?
It just bothers me because I feel like I'm capable of so much, yet every time I try to reach my potential, I can feel the painful hands of hearing loss trying to pull me back. Actually, I can't even completely blame it on my deafness, but, more accurately, society's refusal to adapt to it.
It seems like it would be so much easier to just be average. To be satisfied at the idea of simply passing a course that's on grade level.
But for now I carry on, chin held high, slowly placing one foot in front of the other. My life is so much more than a test score.