It's exam season at universities and if you see haughty faces drilled onto hunched bodies which have spent too many a time over obsessing about the question in which ways Foucault's power relations apply to postcolonial contexts of generally gendered texts of African poets in the 19th century, you have got yourself a student. In this case, I would strongly advise you to turn away, as students in study mode can be a dangerous species - and I am speaking from experience as I am cramming this blog entry into a course in which I should actually be paying attention to queer study films (so not interesting anymore), knowing my whole afternoon will be dedicated to studying cognitive analysis, Labovian case studies and how "silly" changed its meaning over the course of time (in case you're wondering, I am studying literature, not linguistics, but this stupid uni cannot keep them apart).
Today I am writing about common features pre-exam students have in common and why you should probably avoid them.
First of all, PES (pre-exam students) constantly try to refer their studied content to the world, partly in order to remember it better. Yesterday, as I was watching football with my boyfriend (yes, the World cup virus has also reached my household, unfortunately), he picked up his plate and said "I think I want another plate" when he meant he wanted more food, to which I promptly answered, "you just used metonymy." Obviously, as no person in real life knows what metonymy is, he reacted rather puzzled to which followed a lengthy lecture on my part on how metonymous words can replace the real intended word through association (by which the plate would be standing for the food which is inside).
This might happen when you talk too much to a PES, so probably simply refrain from it altogether - we have to study anyway!
Secondly, many PES bleed caffeine in the hunting season and it makes us a little fuzzy, frazzled and, to be blunt, a total pain in the ass. I, personally, hate coffee, but I have about a bucket of black tea each day and a litre of coke (cola, I mean here, not white coke, just to clarify, I am not that desperate). Over the past week, I have been on 180 degrees nonstop and my man has taken the worse part of it. Snapping, snarling, sneering or swearing, you name it and my man has endured it over the past week. I haven't done any laundry because I HAVE TO STUDY, but dare him not to immediately do housework when he comes home from work because I CAN'T STUDY IN THIS MESS!
Over exam season, we students tend to be very sensitive. Everything has to evolve around studying and anyone daring to question that gets their head bitten off. When I was in my BA, my mum asked me to help out at a festival of her school, and I basically snapped at her, "Get your head out of your ass, I need to study." Try not to take it too personal, we are too busy studying to put up with an argument...
PES are usually a wreck the closer the exam dates sneak up and I am no excuse. I linger along a very steep cliff, ever ready to be blown off into a full-on nervous breakdown and tears have flown already. The utter feeling of being overwhelmed takes its toll when you have to prepare three exams simultaneously, write another paper - and yes, then you get a request for an interview. Somehow, things seem to always happen AT THE EXACT SAME TIME and suddenly, which is not entirely helpful when you already have a lot on your plate. Therefore, if you know students, make sure to keep the contact during January and June to a minimum and chances are considerably lower that you will have to console a tear-stricken, overwhelmed wreck.
Thankfully, it will soon be over and we can be embraced by summer...well, at least until the results are online!
Writer. Editor. Blogger. YouTuber. Freelancer. Traveller. English fanatic.