As the semester wraps up, I feel myself filling up with apprehension and excitement simultaneously. Ten days from now, I will be done my exams: home free, and heading home. The thought sends shivers of excitement down my back as I think of my bed, the bountiful family dinners, and all my friends that I have to catch up with. But then I think about the next ten days and I’m struck dead in my tracks: I have three exams to get through and no idea how I’m going to survive them.
Lights line McGill College, de Maisonneuve, and Saint Catherine as I walk home. In the rapidly darkening early evening I’m buoyed by the array of giant wreaths, Christmas trees, and other brightly lit configurations of holiday cheer; their vibrant lights bounce off the pavement and onto the glass buildings the hug each and every street. The world is blissful for a while. With my backpack heavy on my spine, I enjoy the sight for as long as possible, pushing aside how much work there will be to do when I make it home. Truthfully, to get back to my residence the best thing to do would be to take the metro. However, I enjoy the walk and more importantly, it lets me stall a little longer before starting my studying. A most adept procrastination tactic, I know: but healthier than others, I’d argue.
Back in October, I went home for the first time and as nice as it was to be home, I had very little time –barely two days– to see anyone. Because I didn’t book my train ticket early enough, I had to leave before my Thanksgiving dinner (missing out on those mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, hurt) and barely was able to see any family at all. Knowing that this time around I’ll have a break that lasts long enough to catch up with everyone and hear about the goings-on in their lives pleases me greatly, and with this attitude, I will bravely head towards the mountainous obstacle that sits between me and my break: exams.
So, with pencil in hand and highlighter, post-it notes, and eraser readily available, I open up those dusty textbooks and forge ahead. Being that this is my first set of university exams ever, my nerves are pretty taut with anxiety. Making sure to get up for breaks is the most important thing that I need to do. If I sit too long while I’m studying, I start to lose momentum and spend more time on the computer than reading through my notes. Finally, I’ll find my rhythm and make it through a great chunk of material. As the studying gets easier and the shape of the course starts to make sense to me, satisfaction takes over, and my apprehension for each exam slowly ebbs away.
Soon, I will be rushing to the train station, my bags bursting with presents for my loved ones, fatigue dragging at my bones, but with a huge grin on my face. It will be nice to have a long break and by the end of it, I can come back to McGill refreshed and excited to see what my next term brings in terms of courses and events.