For many of us students, myself included, there are 3 stages we tend to go through (or at least what I went through) during the exam season. This semester was my very first as a University student and the pressure was truly on. I sort of forgot how to manage my study time and it really didn’t help that my exams were scheduled so closely knit together.
Disclaimer at the end*
Here are the 3 very exciting stages that I came up with…
Stage 1: The Relaxed Stage
This stage usually develops after your last class before the following week off to study for our scary exams. I remember getting so excited leaving my International Development exam review, looking forward to sleeping in the next day and having the time to relax and just study at my own pace. I felt so free and told myself I had TONS of time to look over those notes from the entire semester. It wouldn’t be that hard.
Little did I know that this relaxation would turn into…
Stage 2: The Panic Stage
Ahhh… what a University NOOB.
Sure, a couple of mornings could be utilized to catch up on lost sleep, but when you realize that half of your week has been spent watching Grey’s Anatomy and napping – you become a little more panicked that you know more about how to remove an appendix than all of your courses combined. Don’t get me wrong, I did in fact open up my notebook and prepare some notes to study – but I seemed to neglect actually absorbing what was on the notes. I’m not sure I left my house that entire week to be quite honest – not my finest time.
Not only does that panic you, but the night before an exam usually doesn’t help much either. It doesn’t involve much sleep. You toss and turn, going through the equation in your head for what you need on the exam to pass the course and the content that you hope stays fresh in your mind by the morning.
Even worse, though you plan on waking up early to test yourself one last time, you realize that you forgot to set your alarm the night before and wake up 20 minutes before your exam. This happened to me. PANIC would be an understatement.
Stage 3: The Light in the Tunnel Stage
Each exam that comes and goes gets you a little closer to that light. You treat yourself to a coffee (that you ACTUALLY savour) or really frothy drink from Tims or even Starbucks if you’re feeling extra good about what you just wrote. The light gets brighter each exam that doesn’t seem so stressful now that you’re done. At this point, you’ve either accepted the fact that you may have just failed that exam OR you’ve given yourself a pat on the back for getting through this stressful season.
By the time we finish all of our exams, our back seems to be a little straighter and our smiles become more genuine (rather than the “I’m smiling but crying on the inside” look).
I applaud all University students who have gone through these stages! This was only for fun and I hope you enjoyed reading them. Though exams can be stressful, once you are done, you can begin to relax. You have worked so hard – regardless of the outcome. You showed up. You wrote it. I have learned even in this short first semester that this University experience does not define ME. I came here to learn – not to prove that I am “worthy” of my degree.
Best of all, God is there with you every step of the way – talk to Him. He’s always listening and He’ll be there if these exams don’t turn out as nicely as you imagined. Rest in Him.
The following video is an encouragement and a reminder to those that bubbling in answers on a multiple choice test will never define your creativity and determine your success. Every gift deserves an equal chance and a school program shouldn’t control your dreams.