Ellie Healy: Week 4

Ellie gets to grips with the weird and wonderful world of exam stress


I finished my exams on May 25 – earlier than anybody else I have spoken to – so understandably I have been as bored as a midget in a theme park.

I’ve either been lounging around in my house or distracting my boyfriend at his, stuffing my face with whatever was on the reduced aisle in Sainsbury’s that day and watching Come Dine with Me.

With this newfound freedom, I’ve been able to make some acute observations on how people cope with exam stress, and it’s been hilarious.

There is yours truly, who I have come to realise doesn’t really change that much during exam time. I don’t feel stressed at all, even now that I’m in second year and it all counts towards to my final grade (*internal scream*).

All I do is waste time, by spending countless hours on Snapchat and by hoovering my bedroom floor two hours before an exam when it doesn’t even need hoovering, etc.

ellie snapchat

In my house, we have the athlete and procrastinator extraordinaire. ‘D’ cracks hard during exam time, and turns to her beloved sport to soothe her aching mind.

She normally flies out the door at about 7pm and doesn’t return until gone midnight. She came back last week with a squirrel poking out her knickers which had gone unnoticed during the whole 32-mile-long run.

‘D’ returns refreshed, yearning for knowledge, ready to sit down and whack out some revision, but after about ten minutes you can hear her chuckling upstairs at some catch-up tv, and that’s what she will continue to do for the rest of the night.

Next, there is the extreme coffee and tea drinker. ‘C’ drinks her favourite revitalizing, caffeinated hot beverages on average of about 28 times a day.

There is never silence in our house on Gloucester Avenue, just the constant hum of the kettle boiling and ‘C’’s gums chattering. She often spends hours doing everyone else’s washing up, skips about the house with a tousled pineapple on her head and sometimes rings her parents to distract herself when she gets really desperate.

el 2

‘T’ is the incredible chain-smoker, consuming 64 cigarettes a day, all Amber Leaf rollies, because she, of course, sold her soul to straights a long time ago and lost all her money to Marlboro.

She rolls when she’s talking, she rolls when she’s on the toilet, she rolls in her sleep. ‘T’ never actually gets any work done because she is permanently standing outside with a fag on.

My favourite of all is ‘F’, my friend who gets smashed by himself after every exam and loses about a day and a half of revision for his next one. el

He returns from uni, slams the door and enters the room with a massive gooey grin on his face, and rushes for the multipack of Walkers that has been waiting in his cupboard all day. On various occasions we’ve found him knocked out on the sofa, drooling on himself with crisps up his nose, halfway through a game of Fifa, at 1pm in the afternoon.

I feel so honoured to have finished so early though, because I’ve been able to witness firsthand the beauty of how students cope with pressure. It’s been truly inspiring. Bring on the post-exam lashes.