Sitting, waiting, wishing

A Mayo man in Galway
Sitting, waiting, wishing


Edwin McGreal

Tick, tock, tick tock. It is Monday lunchtime as I write and I’m some sort of understanding what purgatory, if it exists, feels like. Today is going to be a long, long day. The results from the Christmas exams are released today and the sense of dread raging inside of me is nearly out of control.
I promised myself that it wouldn’t be like this on my return to NUIG. When I was a first and second year Arts student I always clung just the right side of the pass line, just doing enough. It would mean some serious panic cramming in the run-up to the exams and even more serious concerns about multiple fails before the results came out. In the end I would always show just enough ‘understanding’ of the subject matter. You could say I was wonderfully efficient, pushing the bare minimum of effort out of myself in order to pass. An environmentaly friendly student.
And those grades were fine, I told myself, because in third year I would be putting the head down and letting all the grades from that year count to my degree.
Back then I didn’t realise it would be 2010/11 before I would get around to it, six years after I finished second Arts. But coming back now and putting in enough effort that I am confident I should pass all the exams (kiss of death, how are ya?) ought to release the pressure and nerves, surely?
Don’t believe it for a second! A bare pass grade is no longer good enough. It is my final year and how I do this year will determine whether I leave college with a good degree or not. Ideally I would be pushing for a first class honours but I don’t see that happening. That requires hard work and no little ability. I’m not sure if I qualify for either but the first one is definitely an issue. It was well into October before I familiarised myself with the college library and my world-class talent of feckless daydreaming means I only actually studied for about half of my time inside there.
And starting back in January for new subjects, we were told what would be required for top grades and I tried to reconcile that with my own efforts and never the twain did meet.
But, to be fair, I did do a bit and much more than previously. At this point in time I would be quite content with a 2.1 degree which is essentially a B+ average, which in this institution is an average between 62 and 69 per cent (a first being 70 plus).
But did I get that? I really don’t know. But I doubt it. The results are out since this morning, pinned on the wall in the history school about two floors above me and in the sociology and politics school on the other side of the campus. I’ll push myself in those directions at some stage today I guess and put myself out of my misery. Days like this are not quite what I signed up for.