I feel like I’m going into battle.

Today I have a biology exam. I can’t remember ever studying harder for an exam in my life. I don’t know how much weight that holds, though, because last year for my anthropology and psychopathology exams I started memorizing notecards literally on my way to the exam room.

When I was in elementary school, a few of my teachers thought I had a photographic memory, but I always knew I didn’t. I just knew all the tricks. In my junior year of high school, during a psychology class, our teacher wanted to see who could remember the most in a string of random numbers. I won (a term I use loosely, because there was no prize, like a trophy or a pizza party or a pet chinchilla) because I turned all the numbers into historical dates. I couldn’t have retained it for more than a few hours, but in that brief and shining moment I was the mnemonic device champion who did not win a pizza party.

Anyway, it’s for this reason that people have mistaken me for smart. I’m not putting myself down or anything; I know I’m, like, relatively smart enough not to walk into a sliding door (at least not twice), but it’s created this problem where I don’t start studying until the last possible minute because I’ve always known I could get away with that. And the point of all this is that I have been studying for the last three days. I have NOTECARDS and DIAGRAMS and a REVIEW SHEET. I know this shit. I’m nervous, of course (because what if I don’t know this shit?), but I feel pretty good about it, which is a stark contrast from the general what-have-I-done-to-myself-I-hope-I-can-remember-this-entire-diagram-thirty-minutes-from-now feelings of exams past.