In defence of post-prelim blues
We’ve all heard the chorus of “This term is super fun for English and History students! They get eight weeks of lounging in the grass before May Week while everyone else slaves in the library.”
Sound familiar? Guess what, it’s almost definitely a lie.
Oh I know, people who do “real” subjects are consumed with rage, gazing out the window of the library at the laughing premiers as they lounge in the sun and play croquet: English students reciting Shakespeare and Historians doing whatever the hell it is that Historians do. (History, presumably.)
Nonetheless, I insist that the prelim hype is misplaced. They really aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
“Hey, how was your Easter?” is a question I must’ve been asked a thousand times when I got back to College, greeted with the smiling faces of non-prelim students, who had Easters of relatively guilt-free procrastination. How to tell them that I’d had to do all the revision they were going to over the course Easter term over the holidays? That I had sat in my room getting progressively more and more worried whilst still unable to face the unavoidable mountain of work?
And now that my exams are over, who am I but a gnat to everyone else in college, who’ve only just gotten stuck into revision? My complaints about my heightened workload – a result of all the supervisors thinking that, since there are no exams, I will definitely love having twice the number of contact hours I had last term – will fall on deaf ears.
But more than that, prelims are so lonely. They mean that that bond between frantic revisers doesn’t extend to us, that we can’t expect a sympathetic nod and sigh when we look frazzled at three in the morning, that the seats we use in the library are valuable real estate someone else deserves more.
How can I enjoy the sunshine when half of my friends have become nocturnal revision monsters? Who can I get food with when everyone I know who isn’t a prelim student has hooked themselves up to an IV drip so as to streamline their nutrition to the extent that they never have to leave the library?
Yes, prelims mean that I got my exams out of the way early. But honestly, that’s just removed my fail safe excuse to stress-eat.
Worse still, it’s made me afraid of next year, when I have to sit real exams where my only guide is my shitty notes from the two lectures I went to in Michaelmas 2015.