Thank goodness! I’m smack dab in the middle of a three-day weekend, sitting in my cozy sweats on a couch in a cabin in the mountains. I needed this. I needed this SO. SO. MUCH.

Usually our exams are on Mondays and that trend has its pros and cons. Pro: you have two blissful days without lecture to study study study from morning till night. Con: you study study study from morning till night, so say goodbye to any weekend-y plans you had in mind. Pro: you don’t have Thursday lecture on stuff that will be on the test the next day. Con: remember how you lose your entire weekend? Yeah, that doubly sucks.

This last exam was on Friday and whew-wee! What a whirlwind. Not having the weekend to ruin before the exam resulted in some reeeeeally long days on campus. Pretty much every day last week followed this general schedule: Lecture from 8:00 am to noon, some sort of lunch meeting which usually involved me explaining how there wasn’t much progress to discuss because of the test consuming my life, followed by seven to eight hours of studying after a hunt to find an empty study room with an acceptable white board. A 25-minute jaunt at the gym was squeezed in on the drive home once or twice, but for the most part I’ve felt like I just might be giving myself the deep vein thromboses I’ve been learning about because of my consistent immobility.

There’s a sense of foreboding that comes with every exam, but this one was particularly stressful. We’re in the middle of two blocks (classes) and this year the administration decided to try combining the tests for each block into one enormous ordeal on the same day. There will be three exams and our grade for each block rests entirely on the grades from those exams (I miss the days when attendance and participation were a factor in my academic performance; it’s nice to have a buffer of some sort). The first combined exam was a little rough, to say the least, and I was left feeling a pressure I haven’t experienced before. Rather than worrying about whether or not I would be able to Honor a class, I was stressing about simply passing. That’s pretty scary.

It’s never a good feeling to look at an exam question and think to yourself, “Ummmm, I didn’t know those were even words humans use.” And then to go on to the next question and have the same blank stare… you start to panic. But the worst feeling is when you see a question that you distinctly remember a professor discussing, even emphasizing, but for some unknown reason you decided it wasn’t a topic worthy of your focus. That first exam was like that over and over and I felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants for three hours, hoping that my semi-blind guesses would save the day.

That’s not the way I like to feel during an exam. I’ve been lucky to be a calm and collected test-taker in the past and I much prefer approaching them with the attitude of, “I know so many cool new things, let me show you how much I’ve learned!” So I needed to redeem myself after that first big, hot mess. I don’t even know what my score is for this second test, but I know that at least I felt slightly knowledgeable about what I was being tested on and that, in and of itself, is a relief.

But the point is, we’re not thinking about the exam (obviously) because we’re on our first ever free weekend post-Friday-test! It’s what everyone in our class has been dreaming about for weeks now and it is well-deserved, I’d say. So I’d like to send out a very happy cheers to all those Presidents; thanks for being awesome, making history, and giving us a chance to breathe a little easier an extra day this week!


02/21/2012 16:12

Sounds like you're being challenged, which I didn't think was possible. Anyway, I know how you feel being so busy. Just remember that life is all about how you handle plan B. Hang in their Dr. Julie.


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