All the things your family will say to you over study leave
“How’s your revision going?”
May, the most loathed month in the calendar for students, is finally here. You’ve made it through freshers, January exams and hard financial situations to reach the final hurdle of the academic year.
After returning home for Christmas and Easter, where curious families questioned us about everything from eating habits to any potential relationships, you’d think that they would of grown tired of prying information out of our lives. Not just yet. May is the time for families to stop asking us about how many friends we’ve made and start reminding us of all your impeding exams and deadlines. Just in case we’d forgotten.
“So, how’s revision going?”
The age old question, one which parents have been asking their children ever since they sat their first exams. You can either be honest about your failure to prepare, and face a lecture on the importance of not falling behind, or lie and hope you don’t find yourself trying to explain your grades in a few months time.
It was a difficult paper mum, I promise. Even the lecturers agreed with us.
“Have you completed (insert piece of work here) yet? You do realise there’s only x amount of weeks to go?”
Similar to the question above. I know you’re trying to be helpful. I know you’re just genuinely interested in your child’s life. However its only going to stress us both out.
“If you just get on with your work you won’t be as far behind”
The constant nagging feeling of guilt during exam season whenever you happen to be doing anything that isn’t revision isn’t pleasant. Showering? Eating? Talking to your flatmates? All taking up the precious little revision time you have. This isn’t helped by relatives acting like a human equivalent to a countdown app every-time you see them.
“You do realise your nearly finished your degree? Not long to go now until you’re looking for a job. Doesn’t time go fast.”
There will always been someone saying this since the end of first semester. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you the same thing: time flies as you get older.
Bizarrely, counting down the amount of weeks, months or semesters we have left is meant to help us get ourselves together and become functioning adults with careers. Unfortunately it doesn’t actually work like that, instead only adding to the niggling worry that we are nowhere near ready to be real adults yet. Also, its exam season. Surely the thought of life post-university is the last thing we want to be thinking about when revising.
“So what are you going to do when you finish uni?”
Times have certainly changed since our parents and grandparents were young. Unlike previous generations who, at our age most probably owned a house, have a stable job or attended university for free (remind me how we’re supposed to have it easy?), we also have the pressure of wondering if we will ever have a stable career or be living somewhere that isn’t an £800-a-month shoe-box.
“How about becoming a teacher?”
It will always be the first suggestion to any unsure student. Its always teaching, why? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a teacher (obviously) but surely parents must know there’s more career options aside from working in education. Assuming every humanities student wants to teach feels somewhat of a lazy generalisation.
Unless you’re one of those people who’s had their life planned out since age 5, or a medical student, chances are that you probably have little to no idea what’s going to happen after university. A distant relative acting as a constant reminder isn’t going to suddenly give us direction in life.
“Just relax and you’ll do fine”
The classic piece of advice. Just relax. Read the question. It all seems so obvious when our parents are repeating it on the phone to us the night before the exam and yet, it’s always the one thing you fail to do. But that’s not our fault right?
Mum, dad and everybody else, it’s not that we don’t appreciate that you show interest in our lives, after all you did spend the past 18 years feeding and clothing us. It’s just that during this dark and difficult time being constantly reminded of how many exams we have or how we should be thinking about long term goals just isn’t helpful.
Also, wouldn’t you rather hear the interesting stories about dodgy student accommodation or arguing flatmates instead of the boring things like work and exams?