The end is almost here. I'm almost done.

And a part of me wants to focus on that. A part of me wants to be sad that it's almost over, because there are things that I'm going to miss. I'm going to miss going to class every day. I'm going to miss seeing some of these people, and I'm going to miss hearing what they have to say. I'm going to miss reading books that I might never have picked up otherwise and finding that I actually really enjoy them. I'm going to miss all of that, and I know I will, but I just can't focus on any of that right now.

Because before I do, I have one more thing to focus on: exams.


Exams are a medieval torture device invented by some sadist who figured that students' lives didn't suck enough already. I mean, yeah, sure, they're all broke, living off of ramen and alcohol, they have to deal with a shockingly high rate of reported depression, anxiety, and loneliness, but are they pulling out their hair, stressing over an isolated few hours of their lives enough?

Exams are a faulty system made for people who learn in a very specific way - or should I say a person who learns in a very specific way, because I'm pretty sure that it was just one dude and he's the one who came up with exams. Because I can memorize facts and definitions as well as anyone, but that doesn't mean that my brain retains them after I've stuffed them all in just to spill them out on that sheet of paper they offer me. And that's not to say that I haven't learned anything from these classes - I have. I've learned a ton, but that's not what exams are really testing. At the end of the day, they're more interested in what I've memorized than what I know, and we're all aware of this. We just choose to ignore it because it's kinda funny to watch the suffering of others.

Exams are unceasingly stressful, right up until the moment they're finished, because how do you prepare for an exam? Is this the information I should be focusing on? Am I studying enough? If I catch up on this reading, will that actually be useful or just a waste of my time? Who the fuck knows! Just keep at it until your eyes cross and you're spilling blood from your nose, because anything short of that is a sign that you aren't doing enough, damnit!

And maybe I wouldn't hate exams so much if I didn't have anxiety. Maybe I wouldn't hate exams so much if I actually learned anything from them. Maybe I wouldn't hate exams so much if they didn't just feel like one big swelling of pointless information that you spew onto the professor's paper and then leave having gained nothing and lost everything, all in one go. Or maybe I'd hate exams no matter what, because they aren't intended to be anything that actually benefits humanity. They're just meant to be entertainment for all those professors who secretly hate their students.

Published by Ciara Hall