Guide to University: exams

So after all the lectures, partying, essays and failed attempts at cooking, you unfortunately have to take these pesky things called exams’. I really dislike exams, mainly because you’re essentially tested on what you’ve memorised in the past few weeks (*cough*days*cough*) and what you’ll probably forget after 24 hours, a week tops. Not to mention you have a time limit. I always have loved that quote by Einstein about if you judge a fish on it’s ability to climb a tree, it will go through its whole life thinking that it’s a failure – you know, the one that always appears with this picture:

Anyway, the truth is that exams get more and more terrifying as they go along. First there are GCSEs to determine what sixth form you go to, then A levels that determine what uni you go to, then university exams that may well determine what job you eventually get. I never thought that exams could get worse, but university exams are bloody terrifying. Mine in particular were in Kensington (Olympia) where the room is giant, fitting around 1300 anxious, sweaty students.

There isn’t really a dress code, especially as it would probably be broken anyway, and i expected everyone to turn up in a similar attire to me (aka jeans, baggy t-shirt, no make up and a sloppy ponytail). That wasn’t the case. Sure, some people were like me (clearly they were the sane ones), but there were some girls with faces full of make up, wearing outfits that looked like they were party-ready and high heels. High. Heels. Then we had the other extreme with people turning up in pyjamas because ‘why the hell not’. Seriously, there have been weirder things.

But now, my friends, I have reached the other side after finishing all my exams in that disgusting room, spending copious amounts of time in the library (aka house of books) and works rooms. I like the lack of judgement especially that surrounds exam-time. You look kind of sloppy? So does pretty much everyone else. You’re eating loads of pizza and chocolate? Everyone else is either doing the same or wishing they were. You smell bad? Well, come on, take a shower – everyone still showers during exams. What are you, a slob?

Anyway, the way to get through exams is to keep going. Take it a day at a time, revise as much as you can – find friends to revise with who will slap your phone out of your hand when you try and scroll through facebook. Buy a ton of crappy food for rewards/motivation/stimulation. Food you can snack on, shove in your face and, if you’re feeling especially nice, share with your revision buddies. Try to grab a few healthy snacks (dried mango is the way to go, chaps) and, if that fails, at least make sure that when you eat some dinner to throw in all the veg that you’ve neglected during the day.

So, if you’ve got exams of any kind coming up – I salute you, soldier, and stay strong. One day we’ll be completely free and on to the next nightmare – aka days where you have to get up for work at arse o’clock in the morning for full days then crawl home to bed. Can’t wait.

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