Worst exam period of my Life

Inspired by another blog post written by a good friend of mine, I will periodically share tales from my life.

My first year of university was quite the doozy all those many years ago. I was young, naive and really didn’t want to be in university (that’s a story for another time). Unlike many of my friends in high school whose programs set them up for specific courses to take throughout the year having 8 or 9 courses chosen for them of the necessary 10 to take a full course load for the year, my program was the complete opposite. My friends would say to me “I’m having such a hard time deciding what to take for my one optional course, I have to choose between course A or course B” or something to that effect. I would look at them and think… “so you’re struggling on one optional credit course. interesting…” The reasons I thought this was because A) is it that hard to pick one course? and B) my program gave me a whopping 0 mandatory first year courses to take meaning I had to pick a whopping 10 classes on my own… what did this mean to me? Well it basically meant that I was responsible for my learning. *shudders at the thought of being responsible in university*

So where did this leave me? Well, I read through the course descriptions and felt, hmmm these sound interesting. The only thing I understood at that point were that there were some courses I couldn’t take because I lacked pre-requisite classes. Everything else was fair game. Since I didn’t really know what to take other than my selected major, I focused all my courses on taking courses relevant to my major. Sounds like a smart plan right? Wrong! My program (Philosophy) only offered 2 first year courses related to it. Intro part A and Intro part B. So logically I’d pick other first year courses to ease me into university right? Also wrong! I thought… well since they only offer 2 first year classes, I’ll just take second year classes as well since they don’t need a pre-requisite. Wonderful…

Fast forward to the end of term to exam time. Universities tend to schedule exams in each program year so there aren’t conflicts with people taking those courses. However, what they tend to overlook is sometimes people don’t take courses relative to their program year i.e. me! So here I am, looking through my first exam period schedule to see when my exams are… I’m taking 5 classes, so it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. After writing out the times and dates for each course, I looked down at my paper and thought. Man is university hard. My calmness quickly fled as I noticed there was a commonality among 3 of my exams… They were all on the same day!!!! I thought okay.. you can do this, it can’t get any worse than this right? Wrong again! I then noticed right after the day with 3 exams, the very next morning at 9am was another exam! So at my university they had exam slots of 9am/2pm/7pm every day of exams. So the tally for that exam period was 1st university exam 9am, 2nd university exam 5 hours after at 2pm, 3rd university exam at 7pm, and 4th university exam the very next morning at 9am! For those of you counting at home that’s 4 exams in a 24 hour time frame. Now for experienced university students, this wouldn’t be a problem as they would know to just go petition to change the exam times or have it deferred. But as a lowly university freshman, this was the ultimate test! Not because I wanted to but because I was young and naive and didn’t know I had options.

Needless to say, this was one of the most stressful time if not THE most stressful time in my university career. After that point, I felt the need to share my situation with any other undergrad student who ever complained about their exam schedule being too hard because even to this day of the people I talk with, there has not been an undergrad student who has had a worse exam schedule than me.

In case anyone was wondering, I took quite the beating from those exams but I barely made it out of that exam period alive. Although sometimes I wonder if it was worth it… ~_~


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