It’s that horrible time of year again when exams are looming. There are people who are not too bothered about it, people who are confident and then people like myself that are nothing but anxious. I’ve never been the sort of person who can relax; my own manager describes me as ‘having a frantic type of energy.’ This is the most challenging time of year for me as it is for every other student. All the worst traits of my personality come out in some act of anti academic rebellion, I’m perfectly happy to procrastinate to any length, but when I genuinely want to take time out from revision I’m consumed with the thought of how much time I’m wasting.
I have what only can be described as a quirk for the concept of time and it’s haunted me ever since the first time I sat a spelling test that was timed by the turning of an hour glass. I can’t have a ticking clock in the same room as me, everything must be digital and it can’t display the seconds passing because it makes me feel panic stricken and I also can’t wear a watch because, well, who wants such an in your face reminder of the hours passing? I feel terribly guilty for taking days off, I’m extremely conscious of the fact I should be seeking out secondary sources while typing this post and I’m obsessed with how many days there are left.
Everything feels like a constant countdown. It won’t stop with the start or the end of the exams, because then there’s the wait for results. After results, there’s waiting around for reading lists and for books to be delivered. Waiting is the most time consuming habit out there, yet none of us can break it, even when it’s broken up by events we enjoy or distractions we employ in order to amuse ourselves. I even count down how many hours I have left until I usually go to bed, sleep is nothing but a nuisance getting in the way of all the knowledge I need to consume, remember and regurgitate. Then I count how many hours I’ve slept for and how much time I’ve missed out. I do this obsessively, every single morning.
What I’m trying to say is that, I’m completely freaked out. Exams start in two weeks take up nine hours and are over within ten days and these are the figures that I have in my head, these are the facts I can remember above any quote or plot summary. My anxiety over time spent revising is slowly starting to take over my actual revision, and despite everything, I still spend way too many hours playing Candy Crush knowing that I’m supposed to be working on my future. And then I still have to decide tiny aspects about that too, realistically, there’s only six months left at university and I’m supposed to have it all figured out. I’m supposed to know my career path before I’ve graduated; I’m supposed to know what modules I want to do next year before this year’s even finished.
It distresses me that there is just no time. There’s a moment and then it’s gone. There’s no allocation other than the label of a ‘day.’ And what happens if I’ve spent so much time stressing about time, revising, working, not sleeping and then it all goes tits up? I wasted all that precious, precious time. And I swear to whatever and whoever is up there, if one more person tells me this year is only worth 25% as if they don’t give a damn, I will have a breakdown. You’re talking to the wrong person. At no point is there ever an excuse to say, oh hey, this year I’m not going to be the best version of myself. I do not have time for that.