For the past week, I have been studying for my psychology exam. I didn’t do so great on the first one, so I was determined to do amazing on my final. When driving to class, I was jamming out to some awesome 90s music and enjoying the traffic that came along. After arriving at Kutztown, I walked up the three flights of stairs in Old Main 15 minutes early, so I could look over my notes and double check the pages in my book for my open book / open notes exam. I put my bag down, went to grab my book, and then I froze. I realized I had left my book and notes on my desk back at work. I panicked. I didn’t know what to do!
Immediately, I went to my professor’s office and explained to him what happened. Being a graduate student, I thought he would be disappointed for my irresponsible action. I should have double checked my bag before I left home.
How I handled the situation:
While entering his office, in a calm voice, I explained my situation. “I don’t know how to say this, but I left my book and notes on my desk at Cedar Crest because I was studying all day, let alone all week, to prepare for this exam. I must have forgotten to put my book back in my bag before heading out. I am so sorry, and I just don’t know what to do.” While thinking of all the reasons why my professor should just make me take it without the notes, he surprised me by saying, “Sami, you have two options.
1 – you can take it tomorrow before I leave at noon for my trip, which I prefer you don’t, or
2 – you can take the questions home and give yourself a two hour limit to complete the essay questions. Have it turned in to me no later than two hours.”
With the most shocked expression on my face, I said, “Thank you so much, I promise I will not exceed two hours and will do my absolute best!”
My support system:
While driving home, I called everyone possible. I’m the type of person that needs to talk when I am anxious, nervous, etc. I called the other Hall Director Lisa, then my mother, then my best friend Ian, then Peter, then my mom-mom. I had a good 30 minute drive home and needed the support of my friends and family. Each and every one of them answered the phone, listened to my story, told me to calm down, and wished me the best of luck. After I got back to Cedar Crest, I retrieved my book and notes from my office then immediately went home and took the exam. I did exactly what the professor said. I did not exceed the two hour limit and handed it in with three minutes to spare.
3 Lessons Learned:
Lesson 1. I learned to double check my bag before leaving the office.
Especially before an open book / open notes final.
Lesson 2. I realized that I have an amazing support system.
Every person I called answered, listened, and calmed me down. It was a mistake on my behalf, but they all took the time to hear me out.
Lesson 3. Never underestimate what you professor will do for you.
I would never have thought he would be so kind to let me go back to complete the exam. It’s amazing how kind and wonderful humans are.
My challenge to you:
If you are struggling with something, don’t hesitate to ask for help. I almost did not go to his office to ask about my options. I almost sat down and tried to wing the exam. I’m grateful that I did not take that path. Because of his generosity, I feel that I did an amazing job and cannot wait to see my final grade! So, ask for help and help others. Be that awesome person like my professor. Help those that may be having a tough day.
Until next time, have a great day!