Wednesday, 23 March 2016

British Studies Exams - A Timeline

2 weeks before exam: Professors will constantly drop not-so-subtle hints that you should probably start studying for the exam. Crack open North and South, perhaps. (Nah. Sorry, Lizzy Gaskell.)
1 week before exam: Your roommate will inform you that, in exactly one week, you will all be taking your exam. You remind her that she should stop talking because you know where she sleeps.
5 days before exam: You are canoeing in Lake District in blissful denial.
4 days before exam: You are on a charter bus for four hours. You reach into your backpack for your British Studies notes, but accidentally pull out your phone and headphones instead. Oops.
2 days before exam: You make a conscious effort to begin studying. You begin to stress eat – cheese puffs, popcorn, and an entire package of Kinder bars. You copy the notes you took at Southwell workhouse into a word document and reward all ten minutes of your hard work with a nap.
Day before exam, 8:00am: You awaken with a deep sense of melancholy. You groggily arise from the safe confines of your bed and shuffle your way to class. The pit of your stomach is filled with dread. (And all that food you stress ate last night.)
Day before exam, 12:00pm: You and your friends sit around the lunch table, discussing your impending doom. You calculate the lowest grade you can get on this without being deported.

Day before exam, 6:00pm: You half study/half refresh every single social media app you own eighty times.
Day before exam, 7:00pm: You and your roommates decide to get serious about studying. You migrate to the best source available for memorizing facts. YouTube. You Google songs about the Industrial Revolution, finding some professionally produced gems (, stellar class projects (, and the classic: the monarch song (
Day before exam, 7:15pm: As everyone knows, YouTube is a virtual black hole. The site recommends you watch the top ten SpongeBob songs, and you feel obligated to comply. You jam to the Campfire Song and make up an interpretive dance to the Goofy Goober Rock.
Day before exam, 7:30pm: All the dancing made you mighty hungry. You go online and order Chinese food.
Day before exam, 7:40pm: While waiting for your food to be delivered, you and your friends decide to practice analyzing pictures: Queen Victoria and her frighteningly pale family, some crazy dude doing an experiment on a bird, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews chilling in a field, Coalbrookdale by Night, Coalbrookdale by Morning, Iron Bridge by Coalbrookdale, Coalbrookdale the Sequel, and Coalbrookdale 3: More Coals, Brooks, and Dales than Ever Before.
Day before exam, 8:00pm: You prepare by discussing the architecture and layout of Harlaxton. The master of the house created backstairs and secret hallways so the servants couldn't be seen. (Rude.) The carriage house was created as a place to store people's horses. You realize you live in the carriage house and below even the servants. (Ruder.)
Day before exam, 8:30pm: Your glorious Chinese food arrives. You stuff your face with cashew chicken and those little circular rice patties they always give you here. You write down notes about why the 19th century was revolutionary from social and economics standpoints and left some people in the working class even poorer than you after booking your Italy trip.
Day before exam, 10:00pm: You finally have all your notes typed up, which you will use as your study guide. You type some practice essays and complain about how these exams would be so much easier if you were allowed to type your answers instead of writing everything by hand and getting that STUPID INK MARK ON THE SIDE OF YOUR PINKY.
Exam day, 1:00am: You fall into a restless sleep, having nightmares about The Great Fire of London (1666), getting a finger cut off working in the first factory at Cromford Mill (1771), and the worst: forgetting a date on your exam.
Exam day, 7:30am: You wake up to the sounds of birds chirping. Looking out your window, it looks like the weather is nice, but you can't be completely sure, as the tears of fear are clouding your vision.
Exam day, 8:30am: You attend the British Studies recap lecture and seminar. It helps a little. You try to pay attention, but you're thinking alternative life plans such as being a barista at Starbucks, working at a gas station, or finding a rich spouse. (Hey, it worked pretty well for Henry VIII's wives...for a while).
Exam day, 12:00pm: Even though you're getting pretty nauseous at this point, you try to eat some lunch. It's spicy chicken patty day, and spicy chicken patties are the bomb.
Exam day, 1:55pm: You take your seats and get your answer booklet. Your friends ask you what today's date is, and you scream that you don't know because you're trying to remember fifty other dates for the test. (What year even is it? It doesn't matter: just know that Corn Laws were repealed in 1846).
Exam day, 2:00-4:00pm: It's all a blur.
Exam day, 4:02pm: You turn in your exam with sweat on your brow and a throbbing wrist. Did you ace it? Did you fail it? Who knows, and who cares. IT'S OVER.
Written by: Taylor Gates

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