Ah exam time! Is there nothing more invigorating? Ok, so maybe it’s a little stressful for some of you… ok, a lot of you… but come on team! Let’s just stop to smell the roses here for a second! And by roses, I mean the frost-bitten breeze that just does not seem to want to leave. But that’s beside the point!
Exam time is such a pivotal period of any university campus’ life and it just seems to bring about a change that is much needed from the monotonous day-to-day of: class, sleep, eat, read, sleep, gym, eat, class, sleep, repeat. I mean, not that those things aren’t fun too, but now we get things like: free cookie-making in the library! Ok, so maybe that’s the only thing I know about at the moment but I do know that the campus does offer a lot of similar FREE events much like this so that’s got to be worth something, right?
What’s more fun? I just had my first of three exams this morning (and let’s not get precocious you science students, I still took a full course load, it’s just that my course that was technically 2 classes [ie 1.0 credit instead of 0.5] didn’t have an exam… it had a 3 hour presentation instead) and it went swimmingly! What’s more, I took the time to take the same approach that I did yesterday with my analysis on the creatures of the library! I had two hours to write my essay and I took about an hour to an-hour-and-a-half of that writing the exam while I spent the rest of the time listening and observing the room around me.
First off, it was a second year course (Ok, so I left a lot of electives to my last semester, big deal) so you could just see and feel the tension and stress that so many lower-year’s had on their faces. They haven’t quite gotten to the point yet where they feel comfortable with their study-habits, nor their style of writing (as this was an English final). Here I am, sauntering in 8 or 9 minutes before the exam starts, eating my breakfast sandwich and enjoying my usual swagg’a… hell, the room was already almost full at this point! Now I do realize that this is a second year course and the final is at 8:30AM, but children, you need to settle-the-eff-down. Relax, take a deep breath, compose. Everything will be ok!
Everyone likes to get so tense. Staring straight forward at the blackboard, blank-faced and emotionless. Their pens directly parallel to the exam booklet. Don’t even think about turning to that person to ask for the date, lest they blow a gasket and have an aneurysm right then and there… but hey, at least you don’t have to write the exam anymore, right?
I’ve found that you are more prone to make mistakes when you are highly stressed in situations that just don’t require it. I mean yeah, I once had an exam where I needed to write three full-length essays in the space of two hours… and yeah, I did fill up three full exam-booklets! Now that was stressful. But you still have to relax or else you will forget stuff and make mistakes. Every so often, you need to stop and breath for a second; remind yourself to ease up the iron-grip you have on your pen and back your face away from the page, as you’ve slouched down to within an inch of the paper.
And the noises! Aren’t they just fascinating? I mean, there’s the obvious one’s that you’ll hear anyway, like the cough or the sneeze. Depending on the time of year, you’ll get a few people who have the sniffles and they’re sucking back that mucus for all they’re worth. There’s the creaking of a moved chair, the stretching of an aching back, the scritch-scratch of pens and pencils… oh it’s so delightful!
My favourite, though? I guess I’ve always noticed it but it has never actually registered in my mind what it was. We all know what the sound of a guy clearing his throat is like; it’s that forceful, deep grunting that seems to go “Hck-Hmm“. Have you ever heard a woman do it? It sounds about the same but a little higher pitched and less, dare I say, forceful and brutish. But there’s always this one girl, I’ve noticed, who does something different. It’s really strange She rather sounds like she is moaning in some low-budget adult film! Somewhere along the way, you hear the “Hmm” but she forgot the “Hck“! I don’t think she was making this noise on purpose, it just kind of happened. It seems to happen in every exam too! There always appears to be one woman who has to make this strange sound… it’s as if they all meet beforehand and discuss whose turn it is today. Well played ladies, well played.
Alas, it is time to head back to studying for my exams that are next week. And when I say study, I actually want you to substitute the words “Final Fantasy XIII-I” into its position. Yeah, that’ll do nicely. Good luck on your exams my friends!