There’s only one thing worse than taking the ACT


I had a plan.

On September 12, 2015 I was going to knock the ACT out of my life and finally reach the shining light at the end of an extremely long tunnel filled with what felt like non stop test preparation.

I woke up at 6:30 A.M. and after a quick caffeine stop at Dunkin Donuts, I was on my way. My dad drove while I tried to remember every piece of information that had been crammed into my brain the last few weeks.

It may have been because we were sitting in traffic for a while or that I was just distracted, but as we neared our destination, I became more aware that it had been taking a long time to get to Darien.

When we passed by a “Welcome to Danbury” sign, the unfortunate realization suddenly hit me.

I hoped maybe there was a mistake. Maybe I had got the two towns mixed up again, but when I rummaged through my bag to find my registration slip, my heart sank as I read the small bold letters at the top of the page that read “Darien High School.”

I couldn’t believe it. Neither could my dad and he immediately pulled off to the side of the road and I went into panic mode. I was meant to be at the test center at 8. The clock read 7:54.

Against all odds, we sped to Darien, a good 45 minute drive. By the time we had got there, we were told what we already knew was true: It was too late.

The light at the end of the tunnel was gone, only a pitch black emptiness. Needless to say, the ride home was silent as I sat staring out the window feeling like all the time and effort I had put into this test was a waste.

Before that day, I never thought I would say that all I wanted on my Saturday morning was to be taking the ACT and not sitting at home feeling helpless.

I texted my siblings angrily and my brother was the first to respond. Of course he was sympathetic but in response to my rage he wrote, “Yeah it’s annoying but that’s life…Don’t be mean to dad. He’s gonna be paying for your college.”

It was in that moment I realized how childish I was being. I was blaming my dad like he did this purposefully.

Parents mess up; usually not as often as teenagers do, so when they do it’s easier to blame them when they make mistakes. In my case, it was as much as my own fault as it was his.

We both clearly have an attention to detail problem; my dad later admitted he didn’t look past the first two letters on the directions because he just assumed it was Danbury while I completely ignored the “Welcome to Danbury” signs on the drive up.

So maybe it’s better that I had more time to work on my attention to specific details for the October ACT this weekend. I guess there is a bright side to every situation afterall.

For all those taking the ACT this weekend, don’t mix up which test center you’re going to. Even if you do, that’s life. Life is unpredictable and I’ve learned it’s best not to take it too seriously.

At least now I have a good story to tell when people complain about taking the ACT.