DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT ENDORSE CHEATING IN EXAMS, PLEASE. THOSE AROUND ME, WHO KNOW ME, WILL TELL YOU, I CANNOT COPY FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE! (THE GUILT IS WRITTEN ALL OVER MY FACE).
On reading the title, the first question that must’ve popped up in your mind is “Has Rushel lost her mind, to use a tittle like this?”
For those who don’t know me, I guess that’s the truth. For those who know me, well, they’ll probably be “Does she even have one!” (It’s a pseudo mid y’all. Does the overthinking rather than the actual thinking)
Getting back to the point, the forbidden week. The week, where all of social media mellows down a bit. Where, moms developed the natural instinct of knowing when you’re going to even venture near your phone, WhatsApp groups suddenly become silent and your family group refrains from sending any “Good Morning” and “Good night” forwards! Folks, it’s time to write the exams.
I recently appeared for one, and from the very recent experience, I can assure you, until you’re one of those who studied right from the start of the semester, most of us, act like somebody set fire to our tails!
And for those who are yet to appear for their exams, one very sound advice, DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR HEART. THAT IDIOT WANTS TO PROCASTINATE TILL THE EXAM MORNING!
So here’s a tiny list of all the many things that the forbidden week has taken me through,
1) “We just got granted a study break”.
This is the day, you have officially been relieved of the hassles of travel, college, studying and getting up in the morning. It’s when you now should to really “Focus. Like a laser”. But to me, it means, today is the day, when I get to be free (pre-exam freedom). Let’s watch a movie today. Thorough studies from tomorrow”. You’re supposed to make a timetable as well. Point is, I make a timetable. But till date it’s adorned to my wall. Not a day crossed.
2) “I will start studying at …. Am/pm”
Be honest we’ve all done this (more me over you), when we open the laptop and think to ourselves “Okay, its 10.43 now. I’ll begin studying at 11” But here’s what happens at 10.59. The brain ditches you. And you think to yourself, “I’ll complete this episode by 11.15 and then sit to study.” While 11 become 11.15 and 11.15 becomes 11.30, remember, to curse your mind AND your heart. They’re causing all these happy hormones to release while you were secretly dancing to ‘Chaiyaan chaiyaan’.
3) Google search: “Effective study methods”
This by far almost sent my mother into frenzy when she saw this open on the laptop. I did Google this (yes I’m giving you then chance to laugh at me. AGAIN.) But here’s the problem. Like every other internet savvy kid, I googled it, bookmarked it, although I never followed it. There you go. One more way to make you look very sincere in front of your parents and gaining extra brownie points (you can thank me later)
Since we’re talking about my exam regime, mine has to start and end with coffee. A big Grey’s Anatomy mug (how cliché) filled to the brim with strong coffee. The aroma itself wakes you up. (Can you get the feel already?) Yes, I know, I’ve already made some of you’ll cringe your nose and go “Caffeine is bad for your health. Why is she promoting it?” I’m not. I’m just saying, that I read a study that proves that coffee helps you retain information better. It’s the exam week. Cut me some slack. I need to retain some of that syllabus!
2) Time table:
If there were a planning competition, I’d probably be in the top 3 people when it came to planning things. I will make use of different colored pens, mark the dates accordingly, how much of which chapter must be done, how much to focus on what. After 30 minutes of what I’ll refer to as brain storming, I have a timetable made. So perfect that, at the end of it, I still am left with 5-6 days for revision before the exam. That’s how perfect timetables work. How I work, after making the timetable, well, let’s just say “God bless us all” and get over it!
3) The sincere panic:
Let’s just face it, whatever be your academic caliber, every freaking person studies for an exam. (If you’re still gaffing and saying that you don’t… ‘Liar liar, pants on fire’). Bile starts rising up. You’re suddenly a fortune teller with all the horrible images of being handed over a report card with a KT or an F written on it. You try to sleep but those horrid images wake you up. You spring out of bed, and take that book in your hand, ready to cram in a bit more than before. Concentration levels soar. If you’re lucky, your mum will probably realize here the sound and wake up to see you studying in the other room. That, my friends, is when her heart melts and rest assured, you’re going to be pampered all along the exam season. (Mine doesn’t do that. She knows the actual lunatic I am)
4) Study, hope and pray:
You’ve done your best. You tried to study as much as you can. And you can’t do anything more than that. You’ve fought your way through the Amazonian syllabus (wouldn’t be so if we studied from the start) and then you arrive, at the Exam Centre. Boom, everything right now seems like the ending of every episode of Game of Thrones. There’s anticipation (“what if they ask questions which I skipped), then there are your classmates (who look like those participants in the fights in GoT), then there are parents, fussing over their children (I’m like, “Mom, stop touching my face. I’m alright!”). The books are the swords, the bell rings, and you trot off, it’s time to write the paper.
5) What happens in those 3 hours:
Over the years observation has taught me quite a few things that happen in the exam hall (this clearly depicts how clueless I am about the paper).Silent conversation and telepathy knows no bounds. Even lovers in Hindi films could never get their ‘ishaaras’ (sign language) right as much as two kids, trying to decide whether the answer to Q1-1) is A or B! If you sit close to the window, you’re forever distracted. Either by the birds chirping, the wind that keeps blowing on your face, or just the sheer desire to keep looking out at the tress, because you don’t know the names of the ones asked in the paper (it’s called Botany folks). Then there’s the guessing game, playing inky pinky ponky, because you don’t want to ask for help. It’s a torturous guessing game (My tip: choose the most difficult looking one, THAT’S the answer!) All the bathroom singers raise your hands now! There’s always a random song stuck in your head when you’re writing an exam, and all you want to do, is fling your paper across the exam hall and start to dance (it’s better than the writing all the mumbo jumbo in your mind as an answer).We suddenly become super calculative. We start calculating with every written answer as to how much we’ll be scoring. (Is it going up to 36/100? Phew! Pass!). A lot more happens in during those 2 and half-three hours. Let’s just cap it up and say ‘It’s a damn race!’
6) “Time up”:
The last 15 minutes are extremely crucial. You suddenly begin to recollect the answer you’ve been struggling with since the start of the paper. You have to write that and a lot more. It’s a race against time. One eye o the paper, and the other on your watch, you start scribbling all over the paper. It reminds me, of that time as a kid, where you’d sprawl across the floor and push other kids aside to collect the chocolates Santa threw into the crowd during a Christmas party! And the last five minutes, you see the evil supervisor, gearing up to snatch that precious paper out of your hand in a second. (That’s another fight when you go “Sir, one more minute” when the supervisor’s at your desk!) The full stop at the end of the last sentence is a relief. You’ve written the paper. Submitted your fate. With one last glance and silent prayer, you hand over the paper, triumphantly. The confusion, for your information, is one golden opportunity, to ask somebody for help with that fill in the blank!
The varied looks on everybody’s face, is just another treat to watch. There’s one, who has written everything in the paper, completed the paper and then looking at them gives you major marks chills! Then there’s the ‘I knew NOTHING in the paper’ face (don’t look at them, you don’t want to be depressed for a lifetime). The badass face cursing the supervisor because their paper was snatched, or the when they forgot to write one point in one answer. But then, the worst, the poker face. “The paper was just out of limits. Guess I’ll pass” (you have no idea how happy they are from the inside because the paper was actually good!). Then the post mortem of the paper category. Every question, every mark shall be discussed as soon as we disperse (and by doing this, we will relieve our own stress, but increase somebody else’s!) Lastly, not stereotyping, but the “boys-face”. Boss! As long as they’re passing, and have written all that they actually did study for, their lives are just another merry go round!
Eventually what happens, everybody walks home. You could crib about it (you have the right to), be happy about it, be disappointed, and be surprised that you even managed to write a paper. I say, just let it go. You can choose to feel how you want to about. You could just keep ranting about the previous paper, or then, just focus on the upcoming one!
Well, if you’ve reached this paragraph, you either have a lot of free time on your hand, or just couldn’t find anything else to do, so you pushed through this! (I’ll take both as a compliment for this piece!) Now that I’ve wasted your time, (I didn’t mean to though), taking you through that forbidden week of examination and semester finals, I’ll urge you to go back to the business of academics. At the end, it’s never a bad feeling to see the entire struggle pay off right!
Here are the credits to a few people (and some apps) for seeing me through this semester:
WhatsApp groups: Thank you for the papers and doubts. I gathered a few marks at the least cause of you doubts.
Anjali and Sharanya: Thank you for the dumb talks. It helps to know that you appreciate even my low IQ.
Ashwini G: Thank you for the everyday reality check always. “You’ll never get through medicine like this.” You know how much I love it, and you help me never lose focus. Love you that, A!
Teachers: Teaching me through the year and seeing my doubt-ridiculed face must’ve been traumatizing to you. Every day. You got through it. I love you’ll.
One particular person: You know who you are. Thank you for letting me cry to you, 24*7 during the exam phase. (Like I said, I vow to mature in my head once I turn 21) I love you.
Kandarp: Your sleep is just dear to you. I know that. But you’re my dearest friend. So I’m allowed to text you and wake you up at 3am just to talk!
Pooja and Krishna: I’d like to punch you’ll both (specially the former) because you’ll study and come, but then, you don’t punch your near and dear ones.
Dhaval: You left me behind when it comes to talking and chatting before an exam. Jokes outside the exam hall will never be the same like those we cracked.
SNAPCHAT AND AFIFAH, VAIBHAVI AND DEEPALI: Thank you, for showing me your faces via snapchat, every day throughout the night, while we cried about how badly the semester was killing us. Special thank you to Afifah. You’d watch movies, Snapchat that, and then compel me to watch a few too!
My family (very important) : You’ll supported me, helped me realize that the world’s much more than just a printed paper mentioning your percentage. I lived life king size cause of you’ll during the exam. (Now for payback, I have to do the chores at home. Ugh!)