It’s been a struggle adapting to the Canadian weather all over again, coming back from a 28-day vacation in my motherland, Philippines. It took me probably a week to get used to the humidity there that I haven’t felt for nearly seven years, until my family’s migration to Canada in 2006. However, long after the plane had landed and I had overcome jet-lag, the once familiar peaceful surroundings I call Vancouver had now seemed foreign to me. I felt a rush of loneliness with the absence of the nostalgic chatter my big, extended family used to make daily. I was now facing the eerie silence in what I consider as my solitude- my own home. Not only that- I had to complete all of the mid-term exams I missed during my relaxing excursion. How depressing.
With all these negative factors haunting me, my number one enemy has also come back to welcome me home: negativity. In all honesty, I haven’t encountered a single, negative thought during my stay in the Philippines. Zilch. Nada. Maybe it was because I didn’t have to worry about an essay due tomorrow or a group project I’ll have to present the following week. All I had was the company of my relatives who lead simple lives. But as soon as I got up the stairs of my house and into the living room, I immediately opened up my socials textbook and groaned. Yup. A traditional, welcome back from Canada.
About a week later, I entered the waxed hallways of my high school- thinking to myself that within a week, the glistening floors would transform back to its original, dull appearance. Although I received welcoming greetings from both close friends and classmates who I don’t normally talk to, I was still focused on dreading about the difficulty of the exams I would have to write soon, specifically the English and Socials mid-term. I worried most about English, although being one of my strong subjects, because it’s a subject one cannot prepare for. It tests one’s ability to comprehend and produce literary work- on the spot. And if I do say so myself, I suck at being caught off-guard. I like to be ready- I’m not a wingin’ it type of person. Also, I have very high expectations for myself; academics being one of my priorities. In my two years of high school, I have never received anything lower than a 75 percent (the lowest I’ve ever gotten was a 77 percent in PE in the first quarter of eighth grade, which turned into 86 in the end), and was pretty sure I wouldn’t get anything lower than a low A- until I heard about the results of those who had taken it already. Out of my English teacher’s five English 9 blocks, more than 30 percent failed and only three individuals received an A on their work. Pretty motivating, huh. I constantly reminded myself that I’ll do fine, because I know this is my forte, but for every thought like that, a negative idea kept popping in. Ms. E is a hard marker. What makes you think you can get an A? This ain’t one of those Disney movies, gurl. So when I walked into my English classroom on the day of the exam I’ve been anticipating, I regurgitated my panicking emotions onto the exam package. You could just tell I was not in the right state of mind: I titled my persuasive paragraph “If You Want Luck, Then Be a Duck”, just because it had good lingo.
Two English classes later, my teacher hands back the reasonably thin exam package I haven’t seen for about six days. I took a deep breath, did the sign of the cross, and pursed a tiny smile on my face. When I open my eyes, I’ll see a– 76. A 76 percent on my English mid-term which will count for thirteen percent of my term mark. What’s even worse was that I asked myself what happened. What have I done wrong to get such a cursed mark, especially in a strong area in my academic career? She said it simply. Your negativity. That’s what brought you down. My mom didn’t need to be a pep-talk mom. She was frank about it. I could tell by the way you talk about it and your opinions about it that you were going to get a low mark. It was because you knew you were going to get such a grade. I couldn’t handle it. I kept my composure until I closed my bedroom door entirely and I bawled. Like a baby. My dreams of maintaining that 93 percent in the honour roll was gone. All it took was four sheets of paper to wreck it. So what did I do after ten minutes (or so) of crying? I read positive quotes on the Internet. I posted those that stood out to me the most above the cork board in my room. I opened the positive thoughts book my mom gave to me four years ago and I’ve been reading it ever since. One positive thought a day keeps the negativity away. It’s worth a try.
I’m positive this will work out positively.