Los Angeles, CA

    My eciah came when I was ninth grade, in the form of test scores. I was friends with many juniors who were taking the PSAT and I decided it seemed like a good thing for me to do. I didn't study super hard for it, because I wanted to see where my "baseline" was. When the day of the test arrived, I wasn't really scared. I had taken tests before, and I told myself it would be fine. I breezed through the English section with ease. But when I saw the math section, I got scared. And out of this fear, I began to doubt the idea that my English scores were any good. I left that day assuming I'd do slightly above average based on the studying I had done. I thought about the idea that maybe I should've studied more, maybe I should've done something different to prepare for the test.
    It was months later, more than it should've been, when the scores came in. I was waiting around after school coincidentally and I learned my friends were getting their scores. Smart friends, getting scores only slightly more than the average and around what I expected for myself. If they were getting those scores, what were mine going to be? I went to my school's college counselor, who had the scores. He gave me a piece of paper with just my name, a score for English and Math, and nothing else of use. I went back to the classroom to be with my friends, then I looked at my score. 1290. That was my eciah, because I realized it was all going to be okay. These tests weren't intimidating: I was going to do fine. I went on to do the SAT and ACT that same year, and did very well on those. An eciah isn't just a moment that changes your entire life, but can be a moment in which your perspective on life can change in a heartbeat. That's what happened for me.