This past week I’ve been studying for an exam that I just finished. I thought I would share my thought process for how I approached this exam and how I approach most of my exams. Mom and Dad, you aren’t going to enjoy this at all.
“Ok. I’ve got all week to study for this exam. I could make an A if I just buckle down and work.”
Like most students that are preparing for an exam I think to myself that if I can buckle down and work really hard, I can do well and make a good grade. But Monday night football is on tonight and I can’t miss that, so I just say that I’ll watch a little of the game and start studying at halftime. False.That’s impossible to do especially since I watched the game winning interception by Russell Wilson and the one of the worst calls in NFL history.
“Alright, you blew off Monday, but everyone knows that Tuesday is the most productive day of the week. I’ll start the working tonight, but after I clean this house. It is filthy.”
I am convinced that my roommates and I all sleepwalk and have big parties while we’re asleep. Every time we go to bed, the kitchen is pretty clean, but we wake up and the whole house is a wreck. Our house looks like it’s on an episode of Hoarders. Could you work in this mess?
“Crap, it’s already Wednesday and I have done nothing.”
Wednesday is the day that I usually realize that I have done absolutely nothing that resembles studying, but I don’t panic. I know that I still have a lot of time to work. I vow to myself that morning that I will not goof off and I will study. Here’s a little side note, Wednesday is the day that I am usually on campus all day, usually 10:00AM to 6:00PM. I have had to deal with my Chinese genetics professor, my Chinese genetics lab TA (both of which speak broken English and really don’t know how to communicate with people), my lab partners that make me do all the work, and my Middle Eastern biochemistry TA that said and this is a direct quote, “I really have no idea what I am doing or how to teach this stuff.”
Do you think I studied after all of that? You bet I didn’t study.
“Alright, it’s the day before the test. It is time to buckle down and be a man about this.”
Like John Wayne in True Grit, I come out guns blazing. I’m up early, eating a well balanced breakfast, reading notes, and kicking the day square in the pants. I am running the show. Ring the bell, school’s in sucka! I’m just jamming at the library. I’ve got good tunes pumping, my mind is alert, and I’m feeling great. This test can’t hold me.
Thursday Around Noon
The well balanced breakfast that I had this morning has worn off by this point. I can’t focus from the grumbling that my stomach is making. I thought my stomach was touching my spine at one point. I definitely thought I was going to die from hunger. So I get up and go to get some food downstairs in one of the restaurants. The only one that I can get that’s ready and doesn’t require me to fill out an order and wait is Chick-fil-A. I eat all that greasy fried bits of chicken and waffle fries and I get what my friend Eric calls “The Itis.”
Pretty self-explanatory on what I was doing.
“Now that you’ve recharged, it’s time to really buckle down after a little coffee break.”
I’m back to the grindstone. I’m just mowing through material and pots of coffee like it’s going out of style. The only problem is that I’m so jittery and amped up from it all that I’m shaking from the caffeine. This is when I start to panic or at least I think I do. I can’t tell if I’m anxious or the caffeine is running my life. Either way, I think I could life a car off of a person or tear a phone book in half.
“CRAM! CRAM! CRAM! CRAM! CRAM! CRAM! CRAM! CRAM! CRAM! CRAM! CRAM! CRAM! CRAM!”
Ok, now I know that I’m anxious because I only have a couple of hours to cram everything I know into my brain. I’m exhausted though from staying up until 2 in the morning to watch all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies.
As I walk into the room where the test is being held, I notice that everyone looks much more confident than me and looks like they spent their week not wasting time. There’s no way that this is going to go well.
Friday Afternoon (immediately after the exam)
To my parents: “Oh yeah, it was alright. It was pretty tough. I had to make some educated guesses. I don’t know what to expect as far as my grade. Hopefully it’s not too bad.”
To my roommates: “That……was……awful…… It was like I was Andy Dufresne and the test was The Sisters in Shawshank.”
Yeah, I’ll admit it. I screwed up. I should have studied more. Do I feel like an idiot? You bet. Do I feel like I let my parents and myself down? Absolutely. Do I care about these things now that the test is over?