Respect the Exam Season, Respect Yourself

Exams are hard.

This is a well-known fact throughout the college and university community and beyond. It’s a fact we can’t change until they invent the machine that installs intelligence and factual information into our heads automatically. Personally I don’t think we should ever do that, but starting a discussion about it would be a digression and we’re not going to go there.

Anyway, the fact is, there always seems to be this culture of cynicism about exams — this whole idea that we almost plan for the last two weeks of the semester to be this horrible experience that we just want to “get through.” Now, I know that working on final projects and studying for final tests (whether cumulative or not) isn’t a jolly good walk in the park while eating an ice cream cone. However, we only make the experience worse by getting too stressed and anxious about it before we know how bad it really has to be.

My friend Anna and I were talking about this the other day while taking a quick break from working on a final project. There we were, sitting in the calm ambience of the Trible Library at midnight. Sure it was somewhat late at night and this project was due the next day, but as we sat back in our chairs to rest from so much learning and application, we discussed how neither of us was that freaked about our projects and exams. Sure we have plenty to do in the next few days, but we trust ourselves that it’s going to get done and we’re going to accomplish things we’re proud of.

That’s the thing: As students who have so much going on in our lives right now, it’s not fair to us to beat ourselves up during exam week. I hear people saying things like “I don’t have time to eat dinner tonight,” or “I haven’t slept in two nights,” or other statements highlighting the fact that they haven’t taken care of themselves because of final exams.

This isn’t fair to us as students. We are doing ourselves and society a service when we are investing our time and money into educating ourselves. We have this absolutely beautiful school with hardworking faculty and staff who go above and beyond to make sure we get the full experience of learning, application and exposure to this world we’re educating ourselves about.

It seems to me that part of the reason we loathe exams so much is simply the aura that surrounds the exam season. So forget about that! Remember that the information we’re reviewing over and over is special and imperative to our future. What we’re doing here is important, not a “waste of our time.”

So with that, I encourage thee to take your books and notes, turn on a little study music, grab a thermos of hot chocolate (and a bottle of water, because hydration is good for your brain), and cozy up in one of the many comfy study nooks on CNU’s campus. Your grades will reflect the respect you’ve paid to looking over you content, and your psyche will thank you. I promise.

Happy exam season, y’all!

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