It’s full-blown exam season here at the LSE. Everyone is panicking, barricading themselves with books, kettles, coffee makers, and bags in the library. They have sharpened pencils and blade-thin papers to fend off the weak and zombies. The smell of weeks of undone laundry is in the air.
Ah, exam season.
As stressed out, frustrated, and sleep-deprived as these weeks have been, the next few weeks will be a spiral into worse and worse conditions. Despite these dark hours (or because of them), I can’t help but appreciate my last month of being a full student. These kinds of carefree, study-only days won’t come again. I will (hopefully) move onto to the next stage of life: building a career, starting a family, the adult-life complet.
What a wonderful life students have.
Besides student discounts and access to an assortment of beautiful study spaces (case-and-point: Senate House Library, see above), our only real job is to learn (Don’t worry, I’m not forgetting all those, including myself, who have to hold part time jobs. But really, working 2-3 days at a place is very different from 5 days a week).
How incredible is that?
To be able to set your own schedule, go as late as you want into the wee hours of the early mornings, or be up before dawn, to sleep through the afternoon hustle and bustle, or head out to the park for some sunshine and fresh air to reinvigorate your mind. To be able to explore cafes of all sizes and styles on study adventures. To be able to sit down with study buddies and proceed to ignore each other for hours. To be able to hang out with friends and get into deep conversations that challenge your intellect and stretch your imagination. To be able to make friends and meet new people from all walks of life, every day without trying all that hard, except to show up to classes and say hello to that guy sitting down on the first row. To be able to make mistakes and fail, without it affecting your life in a way that failure at your career would. To be able to hide away in a safe bubble of campus life when the world got too soul-crushing. To be able to bury yourself for days on end in books and be plugged into the collective knowledge of the human race.
There is no other time to be able to invest all your time and energy into stimulating your mind, expanding your horizons, and jumping right into anything.
Because when you leave this student stage, life will get in the way. A full-time job will mean you come home exhausted to the bone, and after having made dinner and cleaned up, you’ll have barely any energy to do much else except lie on the couch and mindlessly flip through uninteresting reality shows and reruns. With a family, an attention-seeking new human (or god forbid, two of them) will be your new centre. You will see the same colleagues day in and day out. If you are fortunate, you’ll introduce a new face into your life once or twice a year. You’ll barely remember to pick up a book and continue your informal education. You’ll have to be responsible for others.
Life will settle into a routine. You’ll be afraid to break it.
So as intimidating and stressful as this seems…
It’s a chaos I welcome with open arms.
Well, welcome it with an unhealthy amount of this…
I am still human after all.
And as much as I am learning to appreciate this phase of my life, it won’t stop me from complaining about the mountain of readings and the death chamber to come…
Nonetheless, cheers, to these beautiful, chaotic, exhausting, carefree days, to the end of an era.
OK, back to the grind!