I had 2 exams in January and they were both over within 4 days. I only arrived back at University the Friday before my Monday exam. I am not a crammer. I am not someone that can sit revising at the very last minute before an early morning exam scrambling through pages of notes hoping I'll read and memorise something crucial that will help me... I find those individuals make me so uncomfortable. They seem to relish that panic, that last minute "but oh my god, what's the name of that thing that Professor X said we really must learn about, oh my god I've completely forgotten, oh my god I'm going to fail this exam and have to leave and then bring shame on my whole family and it's livestock and..." - no. Shut your face.
I may have taken it to the other extreme, by barely doing anything the weekend before the exam. Not because I was quietly confident or knew I'd done as much as I could but actually, (and it's only now in hindsight do I realise this) it might have been...dare I say it... be because, I didn't care any more. I was exhausted of feeling like I wasn't making any progress that I didn't really know anything but just sorta "got the jist" of a couple of topics. I'd cover something, seem to understand it, return to it a week later only to realise actually I didn't understand the topic at all, I have no idea why I've been writing down words I don't know the meaning of and what in Lords name above, is that hideous diagram I carefully drew out, trying to illustrate?
I sat the exam. I found it difficult but I don't think it was a difficult examination. I don't think it went well, I don't think I fell flat on my face. It didn't feel like the questions were unfair and had I managed my revision differently and emphasised more of the topics that actually came up, may be I would have found it easy. But I hadn't, and that was annoying but I still didn't care. It was over. I was done.
So it's those few weeks now between the anti-climax of sitting your ever increasingly important exams to the dread of receiving your results that throws me right back into that horrifically drowning place called limbo. That's not the only reason I have been caught up in limbo though. For many the results of these January exams mean they either resit the semester test, or they don't. For me, this how I feel about the results will determine whether I stay here. At medical school. As in dropping out of the most competitive degree to get onto, the very degree I poured years into.
Whether I pass of fail here doesn't matter. It's how I feel when I either pass or fail.
If I pass and am not filled with elation or dread, then I have got to hear that. If I fail and it hits me, so close to not being able to stay, that actually I really want to - then I have to hear that too.
Is there part of me that is willing myself to fail? Do I secretly want that shove to the door? Am I far more envious of other people around me with shorter, satisfying degrees that will lead onto arguably less stressful, more enjoyable, better paid and better quality of life prospects? May be baby.