Students have an easy life. I’ve often said that and, to be honest, I know it from my own experience. But it isn’t always so. I can safely say that from my experience of the last two weeks. As the countdown continued to my final exam for my History and Sociology and Politics degree last Thursday, the more and more stressful it got. For my last two exams I actually considered not sitting them and repeating them in the summer.
The exams and the stress and work that goes with them did, I’ll be frank, exert a considerable toll.
When I was writing last week’s column I was cranky as a bear. I was just preparing to hand in a history thesis that nearly broke me in two and had three more days to prepare for my British Empire history exam.
I’m a lot more tolerable this week. A simple request is no longer replied to with a grunt, a non-indicating motorist is no longer screamed at with a set of expletives and the cabin fever from studying and staring at the four walls is a thing of the past. I’m free. And it feels great. All the more so because I know I didn’t have it easy. I’ll be honest, I studied much more for my Christmas exams than my summer ones but I was a lot more ‘in the zone’ then.
By the time the Semester 2 exams came along, my history thesis had worn me out and my approach to my exams was perfunctory – get them done and out of the way. I’m a bit disappointed with that but, then, I hit the wall. Simple as, I could do no more and I’m happy in that knowledge.
The bottom line now is that my student days are in the past tense, unless I decide to take a dramatic career change. And, all going well with results, I finally have my degree in my pocket. I entered NUI Galway in September, 2001. Nearly ten years later I finally leave with a degree. To call it the scenic route would be an understatement.
And, of course, after all that there’d have to be a bit of drama at the end. Wednesday night, before my last exam, I was sick. It felt like food poisoning was coming along. I had fears of an incident like the time in the Inbetweeners when Will sat his exams.
For those of you not familiar with it, let’s just say he got shorttaken. Thankfully no such embarrassment came my way. The pen went down at 4.30pm in Áras Moyola in NUI Galway on Thursday and I was done.
I’d love to say it was an exhilarating moment but I was too shattered for that. But a relief it certainly was. Students do have an easy life . . . most of the time. I could write a thesis about the other part.
Except that another thesis would definitely push me over the edge.