Since July I am wandering through the majestic campus of the University of Melbourne. Surprisingly, my time here at University will soon be over and I have one last challenge to master:
The examination period (a little thunder would fit remarkably after this sentence).
The courses have their final exams in November and the students here are becoming slightly nervous. If not to say: they are panicking! Every morning I witness hysteric students at the university libraries, struggling to maintain a good position in front of the doors so they can get a seating place in the library with access to a plugin. I witness angry comments at the universities Facebook page condemning all students which are ‘blocking’ precious plugin access while just reading or making notes, seating at a plugin-place without using the plugin is not tolerated easily. I witness threats, like spilling holy Latte Macchiato over fellow students to get access to a university computer. I witness how every screen is structurally checked if fellow students are on avoidable pages such as Facebook, Twitter or their email account, and in case they are: loud protests are heard from the help-desk that ‘the twats can check their Facebook at home! I NEED THIS COMPUTER’
Yes, the examinations period is indeed a state of emergency; where the students mutate to zombies with dangerous coffee-cups. I have to say the sign ‘no drinks allowed’ gets a totally different meaning during this period. Also, when I talk about students becoming zombies I don’t mean the harmless zombies struggling to keep their eyes open; slurping from computer to printer. NO. I talk about the horrible dangerous once, being smart and aggressive like you can see in Marc Fosters World War Z or Francis Lawrences I am Legend. As they are reacting extremely aggressive to noises and are avoiding the sunlight; also they like to gather in groups and breathe simultaneously whilst studying with maniac eyes.
Unnecessary to say that as a Swedish student I am not really used to this collective amount of stress at one place; having my exams evenly distributed at the end of each month. However, even though I am slightly irritated by the change of behaviour of my fellow students, I found it even more surprising that after an approximately 3h working session they take a nap (!) In Uni. Wherever they occupied their belongings, students fall asleep. It seems like the effort they put into snatching a seat in the earliest hours is so vast that they simply cannot leave their place, not yet to say that the effort in itself is rather tiring. Of course this totally contradictory behaviour of falling randomly asleep triggers the other students’ anger, who are still searching for places to work at. Hence, the hands holding coffee-cups are scarily starting to tremble when passing one of the sleepyheads. It seems to be a vicious cycle. Nevertheless, after the nap I found it even more astonishing to see how the person just forgets it and continues to work in a total serious manner, as if the dribble spot does not exists on his or her shirt. I would say: this is commitment, and since studying is always so extremely prized for its ‘best time of your life’ and it’s ‘you will never ever have so much fun’, I feel there is also a need to congratulate all students for their unbelievable strength in stress-coping.