It's that time of year again. Assignments are being piled on, exam timetables are being finalised and you're getting cosy at your favourite desk in the library. You have your laptop, your water bottle, your clean fresh A4 pad, some highlighters, pens, and not forgetting the all-important flashcards.
But you know, now that you're ready, you deserve a break. Just a quick one, gets some fresh air. Fresh air is great for helping study. But then, you bump into a friend, and after polite chit chat and catch-up, you head for a bathroom. One can't study on a full bladder. What's that, your water bottle is empty? Well now, you need water, so a trip to fill it up is a must. And since the vending machine is right there, you stock up on some sort of sweet treat to keep you going till your break. I mean, you'll have to get dinner later so you can stay late and study. Even though, you're really tired. Suddenly, you remember that your jumper can resemble a rather soft pillow. Forty-winks it is, you need some energy before you can continue studying. Awake and dozy you see that it's dark outside, what time is it? How long did I nap for? You hot-foot it online to start checking out notes, but not without opening up Facebook first. Everyone will be online and it's the perfect place to share notes, so you are technically studying.
Procrastination goes hand in hand with the student experience. This wonderful notion that come exam time, everything in the world seems far more interesting than what is on the page or screen, unless it's Facebook. It's at this time, rooms get cleaned, apartments organised, we hit the gym and we make lists. We do, in fact, anything to avoid studying.
We engage in study-groups and meet for intense discussions in the library in the hope that divine inspiration will drop down at any moment (still waiting). Our break taking becomes more frequent as we convince ourselves that the more walking around we do, the better equipped we shall be to study. We're now on first-name terms with those working at the local shop, and the deli workers know our 'usual'.
Our notes are so brightly highlighted we nearly need sunglasses to look at them. The writing is neat, and our A4 pages have lots of precise little gaps and paragraphs. To make it easier to read of course. We have a stack of flashcards beside us and carry them around attempting to look like we're knee-deep in study, but really we look a bit pretentious and silly.
We still wear makeup and attempt to look good, no tracksuit bottoms for us thanks. You never know who you could meet in the library and one must look one’s best should a future husband or wife stroll by. We top up our makeup at intervals and make sure our hair is immaculate. We rock the winter woollies, cardigans, leggings, jeans, our fluffy socks visible beneath the desk, shoe having being kicked off a long a time ago. We have an endless supply of sweets and sugary drinks. A can of Red Bull in one hand, our phone in the other, as we stare at the screen.
We look tired, and we make a conscious sigh every time we sit down or stand up. We are doing some hard-core studying don't you know. We chew our pens, and write loads in an attempt to un-nerve the person nearest to us. That's right, behold, I am studying, so you can stop giving me nasty glares every time I move around.
We have mastered the art of whispering and force it upon other library users, but refuse to be sorry when our bestie comes over for a chat. Just because its exam time doesn't mean I'm going to miss out the latest scandal. What's this about giving your Facebook password to your friend? Eh, hello, it's my Facebook? I need to check it to catch up with all the latest news. It's very important that I still touch base and you never know what's going on on Facebook so having it open throughout the day is as valuable as studying really.
Now comes the finale, the night before cramming sessions. Everyone gathered on Facebook at 3am comparing the times of when they have to get up. Cursing whoever invented Saturday morning exams and ruined their Friday night, they actually found themselves watching the Late Late Show just in case something came up. They can't wait for the night out, Coppers, or whatever local disco it is. They rise the next day, trackies are now permissible, it is Saturday after all. Branded coffee cup in hand, they make their way to the exam hall. Let’s hope all those chats paid off...