Are you sitting down?
Because I’ve got some news.
OK, maybe I’m building it up a little much. #guilty
But guys, The SAT’s are changing.
I know. High school me is legit wigging out on the inside.
The essay — optional. Calculators — banned for parts of it. Vocabulary — less obscure and more “workplace-oriented”…whatever that means. And lastly….it’s going to be offered digitally.
I know. I’ll wait while you collect yourself.
I have a very sad feeling that #2 pencils are slowly becoming extinct.
So, I have a confession. I am clearly not in high school. I am a twenty something New Yorker. I don’t own a snapchat. I’ve worn a croptop all of 2 times. And (spoiler alert) I don’t “FeelTheBern.” So, in an effort to stay relevant with the youths of today, I do a little recon work.
I know. I am so cool.
But the other day, I was killing time doing my new favorite activity: listening to podcasts.
Seriously though, they’re the best because you can be listening while you go about your day. And plus, it makes the lines at Trader Joe’s much more tolerable.
Anywho. One of the featured podcasts was by a teen girl living in New York.
So, clearly….I gave it a listen.
And this sweet girl was having a mini melt down about the new SAT test.
But amidst the ermahgerd’s and “can’t evens,” something she said really struck me.
And made my heart hurt.
She said that the new test is stressful because she just wants to be able to prove herself to the college admissions boards.
Oh my heart just goes out to this young girl.
And yes, I fully acknowledge that there is some bit of truth: tests are designed to show your ability and mastery of topics you learn in high school.
But my goodness, this test does not determine your worth as a human being!
What kind of expectations are we placing on students if they equate their SAT score with proving their worth as a person!?
But in all honesty, I know the answer to that question.
Because I was right there in high school.
The over-achiever syndrome: perfectionism. And for me, it seeped into every area of my life: from my wardrobe, to grades, to refraining from drinking, to extra curriculars, to appearance…eventually leading to a severe case of anorexia.
When I heard this young girl lamenting over the need to prove herself, it took me right back to that head space that I knew all too well.
There is nothing more toxic – nothing more insatiable or addictive – than the feeling of needing to please other people. Needing to prove oneself.
And for me, it was never about proving myself to other people. My family and friends never expected perfection. And I knew that. I needed to be perfect because I expected it.
And to be 100% honest, it is something that I still am working on today.
I have nothing to prove.
Because that has already been proven by God.
He has already determined it. Declared it. Proved it when Jesus went to the Cross. He said, this girl, and all her baggage, is worth dying for.
And you know what? That takes all the pressure off of me.
I don’t have to wear a certain outfit or brand. I don’t have to have my eyebrows on fleek like all the YouTube beauty bloggers out there. I don’t have to get a certain test score, or be friends with a certain group, or drive a certain car, or go to a certain school, or attend a certain party. No. I can just let all that go.
God says I have nothing to prove.
Because He did.
Even though I fall short. Even though I am a walking hot mess 95% of the time.
God sees the heart. God sees me with eyes of mercy.
So if you’re reading this and are stressing out about the new SAT’s — or really just about anything for that matter — applying for jobs, looking for a significant other, paying off student loans, waiting for college admittance letters, making new friends….just take a breath.
You don’t have to be perfect or prove yourself to anyone. Including yourself. Because you’ve already been proven worthy. No matter what your SAT score.