Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now: My Revision Period In Smiths Tracks

How a jangly 80s indie band perfectly summed up the revision period

Cambridge University column eddie spence exam term revision The Smiths

The last two weeks have been a disgusting mix of stress, fatigue and misery.

The sheer pain of endless hours in the library, the panging guilt of every hour not spent in the library. Breakdowns, crack ups, sleepless nights, medicinal 1:00 am glasses of wine. Truly the standard Cambridge Easter experience, which for whatever reason can only be properly sound tracked by the songs of an 80s indie pop group, whose lyrics almost solely cover the love lives of ordinary Mancunians. Weird huh?

You’ve Got Everything Now

For that infinitesimally brief period after lectures finished when I really did feel I’d get my shit together. Two weeks really is a huge amount of time, and before long I knew I’d have tamed the sprawling conurbation of a syllabus that is Part 1A NatSci (much like the sprawling conurbation that is the Smiths home town).

Nowhere Fast

All those things that confused me in lectures that I told myself would become clear after a brief read over now seem like the most esoteric ungraspable concepts conceivable. The time rolls away like Morrisey’s hairline and before long, I realise: exactly no progress has been made. And just look at the time! Exams are only a week away.

I’m amazed, he actually looks worse than I do right now

I Want The (2:1) I Can’t Have

Oh I remember the days. On the drive down to Cambridge, telling myself I’d work hard, keep on top of it and get that coveted first.

Now things are bleaker. The prospect of a first evaporated last term, and now I’m considering which organs I would trade in for a final mark of 61%. Sadly, Cambridge doesn’t deal in the useless bits like the appendix and spleen. It wants your hearts, lungs and spirit, all to be crushed in its barbaric offal grinder of exam term. Meat really is murder…


Bigmouth Strikes Again

We all know the guy. Mister ‘I was revising while you were drinking now I’m getting a first and you’re failing’. They plague the subject group chats with their logical, concise solutions to the tripos questions you find impossible. Their confidence irks you, and you find their lack of eye bags infuriating. Really, where the fuck were these guys during Fresher’s week?

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

That is, the lamp light, in my room, as I spend the darkest hours of the night in a caffeine fuelled frenzy trying to memorise yet another organic mechanism. Part of me hopes that a double decker bus really does crash into my room and kill me. Except I won’t be dying by anyone’s side. It’s just me, and my chemistry notes. Not exactly heavenly is it?

It’s amazing how they had such empathy for my situation, twenty years ago

Miserable Lie

Now I recall every supervisor report, every motivational speech and every single bit of encouragement of received throughout my first term and ask ‘Why did you lie to me’. 2:1/1st, really? I guess that meant it was okay for me to slack off and slide into the comfortable world of the low 60 percents. What a load of bollucks that turned out to be.

What Difference Does It Make?

I mean really, what difference is that ten hours a day in the library going to make. You aren’t getting any better, or smarter. Eventually it just becomes a matter of ritual, turning up and trying to stay the longest, refusing to leave until I psyche out the fellow first year NatSci sitting opposite me. It’s sick and twisted really.

I Know It’s Over

Too late. You left it too fucking late. As I count the number of topics that really need hours of works, and compare them to the literal number of hours till the first exam, I come the conclusion: I’m fucked. Oh well, may as well stop trying, and just count the days till crunch time.

How Soon Is it Now?