To revise or not to revise

Tick tock on the clock, but exam term don’t stop

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So you've finally managed to get through the eight week whirlwind that was Lent term. The umpteenth 'you have so much potential to do better' didn't break you, and the Beast from the East could only whimper at the worn out terror you'd become.

You managed to go from somewhat fresh-faced in week one (rescued only by the Christmas spirit) to a sickness riddled mess in week seven, scowling at the Nurse who told you work could wait. You managed to pull through the never ending cycle of unprepared-for supervisions and haphazardly-compiled essays, that even today you have no idea how to start.

Alas, the end was in sight, the promise of a six week holiday. Finally you'd be back home, on a double bed that wouldn't push you off in the middle of the night, with tables that weren't used for any and everything you did. You could be free.

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No more pasta stains on tort textbooks (how else will you sell them to your college kids?)

Ha. If your DoS wasn't clear enough, this is not a holiday. This is when the going gets tough, and the worker bees fighting to bring glory to their now fading college get going. Revision techniques were discussed (a one sided monologue of encouragement not dictation) and 'strongly recommended'. They very generously allowed you to take 'a day or two' to relax (out of the 42 at your disposal), before buckling down and getting right to it. You got the spiel of how many students would kill to be in your position (more like get killed), and how god forbid, you didn't want a 2:1 did you.

So now you've had your day or two of rest, and the elusive question remains – to revise or not to revise?

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Aesthetic work environments are a must – rose lemonade or bust (bonus points for unintentional rhyming slogans – I spy a career in marketing)

For starters, how can you revise if you have deadlines on the horizon for the first few weeks? If absolute nonsense like paper 14 on legal skills and methodology doesn't take forever, all the supervisors who thought this was a perfect time to set essay deadlines ('because you'll be relaxed at home') certainly will. True that writing the essays may act as a form of revision but see that, it's your DoS vigorously shaking her head because writing ONE essay is definitely not enough when there are twenty four hours in the day.

On the other hand, you have dragged all your books home, wasting half your baggage allowance and sacrificing previous suitcase volume. All that worrying about having an overweight suitcase (ie an international student's biggest fear) will go down the drain if you don't read the books cover to cover at least thrice. Not to even mention having dragged that very suitcase to the bus and through the airport, with the anxiety of your flight maybe being cancelled because of an almost-as-cruel-as-your-DoS snow storm that was determined to eat into the one or two days of precious relaxation at your disposal.

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Haven't put in this much effort into reading since Michaelmas 2017

How much will you physically be able to revise, having four subjects, ongoing essay deadlines, upcoming supervisions and let's not forget you're a semi-functioning human being that will need to sleep and eat at some point during the six weeks (but if you cave anytime before three weeks minimum, you clearly didn't deserve to be admitted in). Not to mention, no matter how much time you put in, someone will always put it more. Someone will always revise ten times as much, while having an internship at a Fortune 500 company, setting up a wildlife conservation fund in Nepal, and doing all this from a make-shift campsite on route to the top of Machu Picchu. For a subject that doles out a lavish ten firsts per two hundred and fifty students, is it even truly defeatist to say why bother?

Did you get anything done before you left though? Or were you distracted by the now routine snowfall right outside your window, pretending you were Evangeline about to get married amidst snow in August? Perhaps you took the time to craft the perfect hot chocolate, or you made a snowman that'll haunt your dreams forever. The point being, you didn't get any work done did you?

Now is the time to get organised, your supervisors will be super impressed (it'll be super strange), and you can actually walk into week zero with minimal work on your plate, ready to venture out of your Sidgwick-Sainsburys-College triangle, eager to explore the sights and sounds of the place you now call home.

You can't sit with us

What exactly do you hope to get out of your degree? Because oui, maybe revising will leave you better prepared for a first, but who cares if a 2:1 guarantees you a job? It's been less than two weeks since break started, and you shouldn't feel guilty for not having broken out your highlighters straight away. You're only human and you deserve some proper rest.

On the bright side, at least your gravestone doesn't care about your degree classification, and the grandeur of your funeral is not dependent on your grades.