Stop complaining: you love exams
Exam term is hard. Get over it.
Change the fucking record, please.
It’s tough enough having to spend 11 hours of my waking day in silence, surrounded by books containing knowledge I could never hope to ascertain in a week, without having to spend the other five listening to you complaining about how much you hate working.
I am so bored of it. I miss buttery. I abstain from the bar. I avoid people in the corridor because I know they will all say the same thing. And I know it will be bullshit.
I’m not saying exams are easy. I will not waltz my way to a first. I’ll get a 2:i if I’m lucky. But to say you hate exams is not only repetitive, ordinary and dull; it’s also a lie.
You go to Cambridge, the most prestigious university in Europe – and quite possibly the world. Let’s think: how did you get here?
Oh wait, yeah. Exams. You’re good at exams. Good enough to be in the top 2% in the country. Be it A Levels, IB or whatever, you certainly did not get here on a vocational course.
In school, it set you apart from your peers. You were likely to be the dweeb whose work got handed round as an example to their peers, the one who turned up and knuckled down and really gave a shit when they weren’t the best, the one who actually looked forward to results day.
You love doing well. You put a lot of self-esteem into your results because they tend to be good and you like to be proud. It’s a quick ego fix.
Yes, the system of examination is stupid, flawed and unnecessary: it bases itself entirely around your performance on a particular day; tests few skills apart from hand resilience, memory and how well you work under stress and does not have a parallel in later life.
That’s not the point.
The point is it’s a stupid, flawed, unnecessary system from which you have benefited and will continue to benefit for the rest of your life.
Exams validate you like nothing else. Cambridge is set apart by being filled with clever, academic people who know they are clever because they go to Cambridge. How does anyone know you’re a clever, academic person? How is academic intelligence usually measured?
I understand you’re complaining because work is literally the only thing taking up your hours and minutes, but Jesus is it dull and downright dishonest. The work is hard, sure – but it’s work you chose to do, work you are good at, work some people would give a lot to try.
You are getting a degree from Cambridge. It was never going to be easy. You knew that when you signed up. You got here because you like exams, and you will do well here because you like exams.
Deal with that aspect of yourself and talk about something else. Please.