How hard is schoolwork?

Once again, I find myself at the start of exam period, stressed, over-tired, and feeling I’ve not done nearly as much work as I should have done this semester. At night I dream about neon-flashing equations, question-papers written all in Korean, and being thrown out of university. By day, I flick between panicky despair, and glowing hope that somehow I’ll get through it all and be awarded a degree.

Which is all very unproductive. Neither fretting nor hoping does dipply swat. I know this. You know this. We all know this. And yet we still do it. (Unscientific observation tells me I’m not the only person to get into a state like this – though I reckon I’m worse than many). And this year I may be in an even worse position than before. Though even that I can’t know for sure, since many assignments and essays lie (mercifully?) unreturned.

Yet somehow I’ve found a pool of calm in the midst of it. Perhaps I’m growing up. Or shrinking. But I seem to be learning to unhook myself from all of these terrors and roller-coasting emotions. They can have fun carnivalling about in my subconscience, while I chew on a pen, twiddle my hair, and work my way through some macro-equations. Slowly. Methodically. And most of all, not bothering to imagine what will happen in the exam, or after the exam, or at any point. Not worrying about whether I have learnt enough, or not, or whether I’m destined to fail. Just me and my equations.

And  it’s weird, but in a perverse way, it’s actually enjoyable. Usually revising for exams is enough to throw me into a fizzing terror. I can’t even look at my revision notes. But now I’m not scared of them any more. They’re my pals. A quiet room and a bottle of water, and just messing around with them and trying to memorise them, and writing them in curly, sticky, biro strokes.

Meanwhile, in the land of real people…  here’s a photo of me from last week in Kunming, with four of my good friends. Good times. May they roll on in the summer once more . If I’ve deserved them. 

KunnersA Swiss, an Austrian, a Scots-Colombian, an Italian… and a happy Ellie.


2 Responses to “How hard is schoolwork?”

  1. Dick Says:

    Hi Elle

    This is sounding very ZEN I would wish you good luck but we both know the system is designed to remove luck from the process I much prefer your twiddling with equations and a biro aproach (good luck anyway!)

  2. Annabel Says:

    Ahhh! I hadn’t read this post. I miss Kunmingland. We should arrange a reunion in Edinburgh sometime…the Austrian, Italian and the Swiss can stay at our new flat!

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