In my tenth grade chemistry class, we were given a choice. We could use a notecard for the final. We could write whatever we wanted on that notecard. If we used the notecard, we forfeited 10 points. If we used the notecard the highest we could get on the final was a 90% B.
I thought about it for a while. It would be nice to have some formulas at my disposal. It would be nice to have some quick notes sitting with me. A final is a whole year of information.
My brother chimed in. He told me that I shouldn’t take the notecard. He told me I shouldn’t quit before I begin.
In the weeks leading up to the test, I studied relentlessly. I memorized formulas and concepts and terms. The morning of the final, I went in without a notecard. A few days later, I got my 97% final back.
The chemistry test dilemma taught me one thing: The easy way out is tempting… but I’d rather bet on myself.