Finals week. Two words that are enough to fill any student, regardless of where they’re from, with complete and utter horror. And let me tell you, Canada certainly doesn’t hold back with theirs. I had five exams, four of them crammed into one week, pretty much on consecutive days. One of them was originally meant to be 7-10pm the night before I flew home, but thankfully it was moved to a different day. I’m not sure if I’d have been able to cope with that!
Finals atmosphere is something difficult to describe. The only phrase that seems to cover it is complete and utter panic. Everywhere you go, you’re surrounded by students who surround themselves with stacks of books and reams of sheets of paper. Inordinate amounts of coffee are consumed, smoothies are ordered with extra shots of caffeine, endless amounts of food are consumed. People study for so long, in fact, that the UCC (kind of like the Students Union) organises “Midnight Breakfasts” which are, quite literally, breakfast served at midnight.
There’s so much hype around exams, so much stress and pressure, that it’s almost quite anti-climactic when you finally go into the exam room and find that, actually, they’re just like any other exam you’ve ever taken. There’s nothing to be alarmed about. Just like all other exams, if you’ve done the work and done your revision, you’re completely fine. Lecturers aren’t trying to catch you out, or make you fail. In fact, a lot of them let you sort of see the exam beforehand. My history teacher, for example, gave us a list of fifty terms (of which he’d pick ten, and we’d have to define them), and four essay questions (of which we’d answer one) to help us narrow down our revision. It was all really straightforward.
So straightforward, in fact, that they all went by really quickly. I went into the exam rooms, did my thing, and left. And now all that’s left to do is wait for the results to be released!