SAT season, school, and prayer that relieves pressure

This article was adapted from a blog titled “I’m smart, too” on

“Man! I only got a 1450 on my SATs! I have to take them over again!” I heard this type of remark from friends and fellow students all the time in high school. At the time, a 1450 was actually an outstanding result on the SATs because the maximum possible score was 1600 (whereas today the maximum is 2400). The sense of academic pressure, and the feeling that perfect SAT scores were needed to get into the best possible college, was pervasive.

My high school was rated one of the best public schools in the country, and my thinking was challenged more in some of my high school classes than in some college classes I took. Unlike many people, I loved my high school experience, and I will always be grateful for it. But it did have its drawbacks.

Not only were the students I went to school with incredibly bright, but my high school was minutes away from the prestigious Stanford University, and I sometimes felt stuck in a sea of intellectual superiority. My own solid SAT scores, which were good enough to get me accepted into nearly every college I applied to (which, though not Ivy League, were competitive schools), seemed to me to be terrible at the time. I felt a little unworthy when I didn’t sign up for all AP (Advanced Placement) courses my senior year. Intelligence was not just an asset; it was like food. If you didn’t have it, you couldn’t survive.

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Forward steps for the Publishing Society
March 3, 2014

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