Growing up is easy. Once you graduate from college, you know pretty much everything you need to know about everything.
About a month ago, I was signed up to take the GRE, a prerequisite test for graduate school. Before you ask me about my goals for graduate school, allow me to begin crying and assure you I do not know.
How to Take the GRE
1. Wait to take the test until quite a few years post-college, in order to build up hubris.
2. Begin by memorizing the nuanced differences between the words “verbose,” “loquacious,” “garrulous,” “turgid,” “voluble,” “artful,” and “artless,” then be sure to use them frequently and correctly at social gatherings such as Halloween Parties. People will like you.
3. Study and practice your approach to basic logic until you’re able to answer questions like…
“Suppose you and your friend Kayla heat spiced wine on the stove for an extended period of time while you practice essay questions. The liquid emits steam for over half an hour, and you both continue to pour yourselves brimming glasses of the stuff. You assume that the only effect on the stove-heated beverage will be a physical change in temperature. Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens your conclusion?
- Both of you are college graduates studying for the GRE General Test.
- The boiling point of alcohol is lower than that of water, causing the alcoholic solute to evaporate more quickly than its solvent.
- Stoves are for making things hot.”
4. Scroll through Facebook and read lots of important articles like “Twelve Thousand Things Millennials Missed When They Watched Zenon: The Zequel.”
5. Call Tony Ditta a lot of times.
6. Repeatedly remind your husband that you cannot, in fact, do this, so he can remind you that you probably can.
7. Bring vocabulary cards on road trips and try to convince people that studying them will be, just, SUCH a fun game.
8. The first time you sign up to take the test, arrange to have the testing center computer turn off unexpectedly in the last two minutes of the test. Begin crying hysterically so that the testing center employees know that you are of sound mind and body.
9. The second time you sign up to take the test, bring a newly expired driver’s license. Then, when your husband brings your passport (with your maiden name), be sure to adroitly wave your passport around so that the testing employee does not notice. When she notices anyway and kicks you out, console yourself with the fact that you used “adroitly” in a sentence.
10. The third time you take the test, make sure to keep forgetting you can’t take off your shoes. It makes the testing center employees very anxious, and there are WAY too many sharpened pencils nearby.
11. When you receive your scores, remember that you’re supposed to know what the scores mean and it’s really hard to memorize scores and you aren’t allowed to take any paper out of the testing center. YOU’RE FORGETTING THE NUMBERS ALREADY YOU IDIOT. QUICK. TURN THE NUMBERS INTO A SONG.
Remember that no matter what happens, you can still sing with your mouth closed, and that’s pretty cool.
Lauren (Boersma) Harris (’13) is a spontaneous, idealistic, independent, fierce, over-thinking, damaged, adventurous, ordinary megalomaniac with a healthy sense of self-worth and a high word count. She has been a teacher both indoors and outdoors; she loves improvised comedy, backpacking, and writing, even when it’s required.