In this post I will detail what has been one of the more challenging months in my life.
The last month went by in a mad rush of study. I have never been involved in anything quite like studying for a third year final exam. Students that have not attended a single lecture begin to show up at the library with heavy textbooks, those more dedicated crowd hallways and classrooms scrawling across blackboards and shouting at each other. The professors attempt to impose some coherence upon this cacophony in an attempt to ensure that the average mark of their exams is around 60-70%.
I was studying for four exams, Mathematical Statistics, Algebra, Statistical Mechanics and Real Analysis. After the lectures ended there was sufficient time before the exams to study for four days per subject, and I found a couple of students that were willing to tackle the exams head on. I spent most of the time with a Mikey, a Canadian student. When me and Mikey were working together, we would get to the university at 9am and leave between midnight and 2am. We really spurred each other on and I think we both owe each other a great deal.
-real analysis, under the watchful eye of Prof. Sawyer.
Studying in this fashion, the exam period was over in a flash. The exams exhausted me, and on the eve of the last last exam I decided that I would be better served by sleep than revision. I passed out for 15 hours and woke up two hours before the afternoon exam.
Walking out of the last exam was not the end of the rush. The Christmas break is only two weeks long, and my flight to England was departing the next day. I went home, packed my stuff, made some food, and again passed out for the best part of 12 hours.
When I woke I grabbed my case and my food and headed out to get the bus to the airport. Walking to the bus felt calm, and I noticed the snow properly for the first time in weeks. It really is quite pretty. I have heard Canadians say that they would never want to live in a country without well defined seasons. Their summers are baking hot and their winters bring snow and ice for months. It makes a mockery of England’s perpetual drizzle season.
-a beautiful day to drag a massive suitcase 30 miles to an airport.
The bus did not take long to get me to the airport. I boarded the plane and again, passed out in a studious stupor, when I awoke, the plane was descending. Within 20 minutes I was back in the United Kingdom. The UK border police were a little upset when I did not know where I was born, but sadly that one wasn’t on any of the the exams. After a brief autobiography (omitting my place of birth) I was allowed to enter the UK.
I found my girlfriend waiting in almost exactly the same spot that I had left her four months earlier. It was a wonderful welcome back to the United Kingdom and I immediately felt relaxed. I felt the term drain out of me. We made our way back to my home together. Being back home was great immediately. Over the past month I had been slipping meals and exercise to study. Being home was warm, comfortable and nutritious. However, being back amongst my family, I was argued into trimming my revision beard. I’ll admit it was a bit excessive.
– I was not by any means the only student that acquired a beard during this past month.