Cosmetology Students Testing Brings Anxiety

Students often fear the big test that comes at the end of cosmetology school. After thousands of hours preparing for an all-important exam that will determine if they are qualified to join the ranks of so many other cosmetologists, this is a time that can be full of stress and anxiety. Students at one cosmetology school shared their experience with the Philly Inquirer:

(Philly Inquirer) May 24, 2012 – […] During a 2½-hour mass exam Tuesday at Burlington County Institute of Technology in Westampton, the faces of about 150 young women and a dozen young men are fierce with concentration.

Their hands don’t stop moving, and neither do 23 examiners who circulate around them with checklist-laden clipboards. Silently, under bright lights that can illuminate every misstep, the students cut, curl, and comb-out on command, their movements almost military with precision.

This ain’t a “reality” show like Shear Genius, or Tabatha’s Salon Takeover; style is of no interest to the examiners. They want to make sure potentially injurious instruments and hazardous products are handled correctly, and that sanitary standards are met. Not for nothing is the state Attorney General’s Office the ultimate authority over nearly 50 professional licensing boards in the state.

“You are to prepare your model for a facial,” instructs a voice over the P.A.

“You may begin effleurage.”

Nearly 1,000 fingers start massaging the faces of the models, most of them family or friends of the students. They sit, stoically and silently, wearing smocks at long tables on which each stylist has unpacked a small suitcase of supplies — the tools of the trade they hope they’ve mastered.

These kids, who remind me of my own working-class family, are indeed serious. Their futures are on the line.

“The misconception is that everybody goes to cosmetology school to polish nails all…

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