Post Exam Post: It’s the end of the world as we know it…

…and I feel fine!

I didn’t think I could do it, but I am not half bad at starting a blog post with lyrics. Thank you, R.E.M.

It’s over. Third year exams have finally come to a slow, yet screeching halt. Unlike most medical schools in Pakistan, my university had decided against adapting to the module system. This means that we have profs, the shorthand for “professionals”: a once-a-year ordeal that assesses your ability to absorb, retain and recall information from any number of books designated to that specific year. This system has its pros and cons. I don’t find contemplating over them very entertaining, so I don’t really care. You may think about them in your own head, at your own convenience, and keep them to yourself.

Excuse me for taking off on a tangent again, but you must understand, my brain is still going haywire. I still haven’t started actually speaking in complete sentences and that maybe the reason why this blog post will be a bit longer than what you’re used to.

So, as I was saying, the exams are over. I am jaded. My family and close friends are just as relieved (if not more) as I am that the third of five gruesome rounds has come to an end. At this point, no one really cares what the result may be. I kept everyone updated on how the tests went. For those of you who weren’t in touch, it was OKAY. You must understand that we don’t have designated textbooks for subjects. The examiners are allowed to ask you anything even remotely related to the field of medicine, and you can not circumvent their questions by telling them that the information was not conveyed in the book you studied from. Pharmacology, for example, has it’s own bible, appropriately named after the author: Katzung. Anyone in the field, or close to it, would understand what you’re referring to at the sound of that name. We do have typical examination questions, but we can not look at any piece of information and say with sheer certainty that “No way! That will not be asked.” As a matter of fact, if you skip something before the exams under that assumption, it’s highly likely that you will be asked that very question the next day.

So, as I was saying, I did okay. Some of my answers to the exams made a lot of sense, whereas a few questions prompted me to pull rabbits out of my hat. It was all very magical.

Out of part habit and part tradition, I stay awake through the night immediately before the exam. I know it’s not healthy, and some have argued that it may hinder my brain’s ability to function at full capacity, but I like it. It works for me. When I walk into the examination halls, I am usually one unicorn short of a bad acid trip. I feel like I’m floating, and when that question paper falls in front of me, it is the only thing I can focus on. It becomes literally impossible for me to recognize any sounds nearby and my eyes are usually glued to the task at hand until I’ve filled both booklets with some sort of gibberish that I won’t remember past the hall’s doors.

I’m not exactly sure how to feel. Over the last few years, I’ve developed into an optimist. Or, to be more precise, I’ve started to suffer from a lack of cynicism. Does my statement contradict itself? Ponder.

So, besides the fact that my motorcycle was stolen today, on the morning before the very last exam (didn’t even have any pictures of her), and besides the fact that I suffered an injury so bad while playing basketball that I can’t even walk straight anymore, life doesn’t seem half bad. I sat down and looked back through my mind’s window over the last three weeks, and I can’t tell you how confused I am.

First of all, I’m not sure what to do with my hands anymore. I am used to holding a book in one hand, and a sandwich/cell phone/another book in the other. Secondly, I’m not sure what to do about what I have done over the past few weeks. Anyone who was not in the field of dreadful, over-burdening, ass-kicking academics, managed to fail me during my time of distress. Perhaps it was their lack of consideration, or my inability to thoroughly communicate my predicament, but people just refused to understand what I was going through. If you’re one of those people, I thumb my nose at thee! Unless I’ve done something offensive already, like curse at you and shun you out of my life, in which case you should know that I am considering apologizing. It’s highly probable and definitely not impossible if you play your cards right.

Thirdly, I plan on cleaning my fortress. My hermitage. My ivory tower. Living by myself this year was both a blessing and a curse. I had no one to revise and discuss academics with, but I had plenty of time to tend to my own needs, at my own convenience. I have, however, let a “mess” accumulate in places it shouldn’t even be found and this is high time for organization. My books are on the floor along with notes and a few writing utensils. I have books covering well over half of my bed. There are books on chairs, and on the kitchen counter. There are books on top of the fridge, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I found a few inside the fridge as well. I have books in the bathroom! As a matter of fact the only place which does NOT have books right now is my study table. It harbors my clothes. Convenience, you know.


Actually, to accommodate your short attention span, here’s a to-do list you can skim through and giggle at. I don’t want to be TL;DR’d in the comment box. 

1. Apologize to everyone I offended. Tell them it was exam time. For those who don’t care about exams, tell them I was dying.

2. Scrutinize the exams, the examiners, the university, our system of education and of course, the government.

3. I’m going to learn how to sleep again.

4. Catch up on some reading, once my eyes stop twitching. I have A Case of Exploding Mangoes and How It Happened on the list. Don’t judge me.

5. Find out if knitting is still cool and maybe hangout with the knitting types and knit me a sweater.

6. Catch up on some movies & TV shows I only have the urge to catch up on during exams, and never afterwards.

8. Think of number seven.

9. Reward myself with some awesome, home-made food. Despite the fact that I haven’t cooked a meal in at least eight months.

10. It’s sports week, so I’d like to play some basketball again if my injury allows it.

11. Hit an expensive mall. Drool over all the cool stuff I’ll be able to buy once everything starts to pay off. Motivation.

12. Browse the interwebs to my heart’s content! Without the slightest amount of guilt, I will dedicate one day to laying in bed and just surfing through random stuff while I chow on some insanely spicy snacks and wash them down with the darkest, unhealthiest of sodas.

13. Enjoy the sun. The rise and the set, both. A bit in between too, perhaps. I figure I still have 2 more weeks before a full blown summer meltdown.

14. Study. It’s an ugly truth and I hate to admit it, but it won’t be long before the next profs come crawling up on all four limbs, grinding their teeth, drooling at the corners for a piece of our young, tender brains.

15. It’s only appropriate that this blog post ends with lyrics from the same song it started with. It’s time I had some time alone.


…and I feel fine 🙂


3 thoughts on “Post Exam Post: It’s the end of the world as we know it…

  1. So happy for you, dude. Nothing feels better than having that huge weight lifted off your shoulders.
    Enjoy the peace while it lasts, for as you’ve indicated yourself, time flies and it may feel like a mere calm before the storm.
    Nothing like a bit of sorting and sifting, both mental and physical, to get back in touch with life.
    Hope you get better soon and enjoy! 😀

  2. Love your writing style man. I’m a first student myself about to face into exams for the first time and know exactly what you man about stress and pressure at exam time. Enjoy your time off now and recover !!!! (but keep writing)

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