The Aftermath of Recent Failure

I graduated from college two months ago. I thought I wouldn’t have to look at another textbook or take another test, that it was time for me to go job hunting. However, less than a week later, I was pushed back into school and not only that, I suddenly found myself registering for the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).  I couldn’t believe this, my summer just went from watching TV and being free for the first time in a long time to dropping piles of books on my desk. Talk about deja vu.

Well last Tuesday, the 8th, I sat in front of the computer at the testing center 12 miles from home for 3.5 hours and took the test. It’s over. Did I pass? Not even close. I was so freaking disappointed on the drive back that day. I’ve done the practice questions so many times! How can I do so poorly on the actually test?

My eyes did a double take as the score appeared on the screen. Those three digits on that Unofficial score letter just stared back at me like gaping holes! On the drive home that day, my heart hammered in rapid beats while my hands gripped the steering wheel like I was about to wring it and break it. Then once in a while my eyes would once in a while give the paper a fleeting glance and my lips pouted, ready to burst in tears.

Just as I approached the freeway exit to home, I slumped back in the driver seat, half of me still shocked to see that improbable score while the other half braced for the wrath of my mother when she hears of my score. It suddenly felt like the apocalypse was upon me. In that very minute, I wanted to just keep going until my gas runs out instead of going home because there is no doubt she would unleash her anger on me.

But you have to face her sometime, my inner voice told me. Sighing, I steered the car toward the exit.

The moment I stepped through the door, I ran straight up to my room and hid the unofficial score paper in the one place I know mom would never look, my drawer. I wanted to burn it or shred it. In another word, I never want to see it again but I can’t. Somehow though, I knew I have to face it and let that horrible shame wash over me and help me see that it’s a lesson to be learned.

That night turned out to be not as bad as I thought. Other than a lot of confusion, everything seemed fairly mild. Maybe mom has accepted that it was mildly her fault for pushing me into this in the first place.

The next afternoon, like a ticking time-bomb reaching zero, the aftermath. I don’t need to tell you how it went. Let’s just say I’m once again the arsonist that started a fire I cannot put out. It went on for the whole week. Every time I tried to start a conversation on a light topic, it always went back to the score and how my mother was ashamed that I will have to get admitted into the undergraduate program now instead of the graduate program.

That was just part of it. The other part involved mom calling back to China and telling her brother and sisters about my failure as she’s done so many times in the past. Everyone laughed at me and probably that’s my biggest humiliation yet. I’m just glad that this time, she’s too ashamed to tell her friends.

Side note: **For those of you who don’t know why I made such a big deal about the unofficial score, it’s because some schools consider the GMAT unofficial score to be the official score. There’s really no difference between the official and unofficial score in this case.**

Thanks for listening and have a great day.

15 thoughts on “The Aftermath of Recent Failure

  1. Sorry to hear about your test score. 😦 Do you know if they allow re-takes of the test? Don’t worry about it too much. There will be other classes and tests, and you’ll do better next time. Keep your head up and know that you tried your best.


    1. Oh, I can take the test as many times as I want. It’s just very time consuming and expensive. I told my advisor to just submit my application though and hopefully, I will miraculously get accepted and won’t have to take it again.


      1. Oh, ok that is good. It would be great if you didn’t have to take it again and be out money to do so! Good Luck! and have a wonderful weekend! 🙂


  2. Sorry to hear about this. I know it is very different culturally for you when a “failure” happens in education. If I may offer a bit of perspective as an older person with a different background: you, as a person are not your education (especially the scores in tests). You are not your job (future or current). Status is an illusion made up by man. It has no real intrinsic value. You are not your mother, father, boyfriend, girlfriend. Even if someone is paying for your education, they should be doing it because they want to, it should not be an axe over your head. You are an intelligent, caring, feeling individual who deserves to enjoy whatever you can glean from life, as your parents may be able to tell you, happiness and enjoyment is not guaranteed, it is not a right, so look within and bring the joy and happiness from your being, to satisfy your being. Some of the happiest people on earth right now are also the poorest. They know joy. One of the best quotes I know is “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” by John Wooden although some attribute it to Churchill.
    What is the worst thing that happens when one fails? Well, unless it is failing to hold on to a rope while crossing crocodile-infested waters, the worst thing is you try again (but only if you really want to).
    Keep on keeping on, and do it only because you are you and you think it will make you a better you!


  3. We all would certainly like to be a success! But success can be measured in many ways. One of the most important ways requires you to be pleased with yourself about what you’re attempting to do. Do you really want to do this? Be honest with yourself and though it might be very difficult to do so, be honest with your mother. You are worth it!


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