There are three things I do not plan to trade in my bid to become an incredibly successful attorney. One is my sanity, two is my faith in God and three is a relatively balanced life. That being said – I still have to do (and PASS) my darn exams.
If you are a student, you can definitely relate no matter what your area of study – but let’s just put things in context by using my life. I’m proud to say I attend one of the best law school’s in the world. My colleagues make a habit of beating the best law schools in the world (see 1,2,3). You can appreciate therefore, that the program must be demanding.
10 Stupid Things Exams Cause Us To Do
Exams are hard, which is why “prioritize” at exam time for many students may mean:
1) barely eat to survive,
2) barely sleep to remember anything,
3) stop reading the bible, praying and going to church,
4) stop helping anyone if it will take more than 1 second of the whole 24 hours in the day,
5) stop exercising though countless studies prove it will help you retain more and function better
6) start panicking day and night about how hard life will be when you fail
7)start reading more than it is possible to remember instead of calmly creating a workable strategy
8.) drop out of a clearly passable program (people do it every year)
9) complain relentlessly about how horrible life is, in the face of all God’s goodness to us
10) lose our selves (and end up cheating, becoming self destructive, suicidal, hopeless,)
We students are driven through the horrendous process called exams that does its best to test our nerves and perhaps very little to test real intelligence. Many of you will pass the exams and fail in life, because you never realize that exams like everything else in life is merely a system society has DECIDED to use, flaws and all.
Yet, flaws and all, it controls our lives because of the fear of failure it brings.
The Fear of Failure
From kindergarten to University, examinations have a way of defining our lives. They are horribly scary because of the (partly true) notion that passing or failing will determine everything in life, from where we work to where we live and what we eat.
Is that fear rationale though?
Overcoming The Crippling Fear of Exam Failure
I plan to pass my exams with my mind intact. I plan to do so, in part, by reminding myself of the following things regularly (you can just apply it to your area of study and context):
1. In three years time when there is a jump from 180 to 400 in the number of lawyers that graduate in Jamaica each year, (with no increase in the market for lawyers), it is the strong PERSON, who can balance more than one crisis at a time who will rise who will make the strong LAWYER.
If I don’t learn to balance exams with the rest of my life, there is no way that I will be able to run a firm or a major company and still have a family, a relationship with God and healthy organs.
2. Every year at least 1 person much more ignorant, much more scared and much more unprepared than I pass these same stupid exams.
If they made it through, why can’t I?
3. If I make a habit of abandoning important things when responsibilities get demanding, I will never have a happy life.
There are very few incredibly brilliant people. The majority of us are pretty, normal, pretty equal and very replaceable to our employers. If you abandon God, your family, your health, your sanity to pass stupid exams you better make sure you are a flicking genius.
4. It Is Alright (Perhaps Even WISE!) to Be Afraid – It Is What You Do With The Fear (or What The Fear Does To You) That Counts!
Psalm 56:3 is a priceless verse for brave cowards like me. If you are a Christian, you should remember that exams are given to us by God to display to the world that exams are not God, God is. (I’m going to blog on this next).
The Hardest Thing About Exams…Are Not The Exams
For me, the hardest thing about exam season is not the exams themselves. The hardest thing about successfully completing an examination period is getting the grade without losing a sense of self (i.e. my mind!). Even more important than getting great grades for me is, how I get the grade.
Often, the fear of failure (and all the accompanying thoughts of dropping out to go sell Banana Chips and Phone Cards) is so prevailing that it consumes the very energy we need to win in our exams.
I don’t plan to get sucked in. Hope you won’t either. [Gotta go study! Byyeee]