The last 48 hrs have been so filled with emotions and stress. I want to begin by describing my exam experience at Macquarie. The exam structure is a lot stricter than what I am used to. Friday morning I had my first exam. It started at 8:50am. I got to campus around 8 to meet up with my friends and study right up until the exam started for the most part, or at least that was the intention. When I arrived on campus and in the computer lab, I looked at my notes and was flipping through the past exams and I was just thinking if I don’t know it now, then there is nothing I can do, I can’t even look at these anymore, I just want it done. Keep in mind I had been studying for the past 2 weeks, only taking 2 days off in that period of time. I did take a few days break from studying for this class to study for my other exams, but still, I was going absolutely crazy in the beginning of this week as I just didn’t want to look at the material any longer and it really didn’t help that it was raining everyday. I do have to say that I did learn quite a bit in the past 2 weeks. Things in the class were actually starting to make a lot more sense. I still couldn’t do absolutely everything, but the main concepts I started to understand a lot more. I even felt like I could really do character tables, which I was actually quite excited about.
Well the time for the test came way too quickly. I was so nervous going in. We had to leave our notes outside of the classroom, only bringing in our calculators and pens/pencils and our ID card which they checked at the door. So strict! My exams at UB seem so casual compared to this, as I usually have my backpack right next to my chair or whatever and they try to seat us every other seat if possible and the teacher hands out the exam and says “ok, begin.” At Macquarie, your teacher isn’t there. The people running the exam are just supervising to make sure no one is cheating. I felt like I was taking the ACT again. We even had assigned seats and there was another class in addition to ours in the room. This was just strange to me.
The first 10 minutes of the exam time was reading time and that really means, only reading. You can’t even pick up your pencil and scribble in little notes on the side, just read the exam for 10 minutes. That reading time only freaked me out more as I read through the questions and I was thinking can do, no clue, that’s fine. AHHH why is the format changed, where is my character table to read off of? I have to write my own? From that? I did not need the full 10 minutes as staring at it and not being able to pick up a pencil was freaking me out more as I was afraid I would forget stuff and practically shaking. I looked around at my friend making a scared/frown face at her. We were both freaking out. I stared at the clock, watching as the second hand ticked and ticked, waiting for that minute hand to hit the 12 so that I could start writing and maybe calm down. FINALLY we could start, that 10 minutes felt so long. First question was good, second not so much…and I continued working on the rest of the exam. Almost 2 hours went by and I was so fully absorbed into the test I forgot what time of day it was. I looked at my watch and it read 10:30am. I then looked out the window and saw the nice sunny day it was outside, unlike the past 5 rainy days. At one point I felt I was trapped in this room and felt it should be 8pm or something, at least some hour when it’s dark outside. It was only an hour and a half through and somehow felt so much longer.
With a half hour remaining, I left. I couldn’t look at the test any longer. I had done what I could and I knew staring at it for another half hour was not going to make the answers magically appear like I would have liked. I was getting a headache and getting so hungry, I had to leave. While it was nice to have that first exam done, I had so much to do in the afternoon to prepare for my 2 Saturday exams. However I needed a short break in between as I could not focus right away after my exam.
I met up with Michael, Francesca, Vanessa, Laura and James once the exam finished. We all went to the Ubar (my first time there) and Michael bought us drinks. First thing we started flipping through the exam, talking about answers we got to each problem to see whether we did them right. I really didn’t want to look at the exam any more, but it was nice to compare answers and maybe I did alright. I’m just hoping I passed. We had a nice time talking for a while and then I had to say goodbye to everyone, first to Francesca, Vanessa and Laura, giving each of them a hug. I hope to see them again sometime either in the states or on my next trip to Australia for a vacation. I then continued to talk with Michael and James for a bit before saying goodbye to them as well, getting a wonderful hug from Michael. At that point though, it still hadn’t fully hit me that I was leaving Australia in less than 48 hrs. I was still solely focused on exams.
Clearly I spent my afternoon studying for my next math exam. I could hardly look at the material for my exam after that because waves was way more important to me. So I studied until dinner. I took a break to eat some food and then after dinner studied some more, successfully staying off facebook (my addiction). It was tough though as I was counting the hours that I had been off and counting the hours until my freedom from exams.
It was hard to sleep as I kept thinking about my exams for the next day and reminding myself that it was only about 20 hrs until freedom. I was fully awake around 6:30am, my alarm went off at 6:40am and a song I liked came on and I started singing to it while still in bed. There I was laying in bed, 6:40 in the morning, singing…yes there was something wrong with that picture. Why was I so wide awake at 6:40 in the morning was the real question? It was going to be a long day, 2 exams to get through. The annoying thing about it being a Saturday is that breakfast (brunch) doesn’t start until 8am, because…well, most people sleep in on Saturday.
In order to stay offline, I got dressed, got my books and headed to the dining hall around 7:15 to wait for the food. They actually had the cereal all ready around 7:40, so I was glad I went early. I continued to do more and more waves problems until I headed to campus and just looked through it up until going into the classroom.
As soon as I sat down at my assigned seat, I watched as one of the supervisors closed each of the shades to the classroom. Here I was again, locked in a room, taking an exam. We had 10 minutes reading time, but this time I wasn’t freaking out as much. Luckily this test was a rather similar format to the past exams and I knew some answers really well and others wasn’t so sure on, but again I hope I passed. I stayed for the full 3 hrs and 10 minutes. I think I went through my answers 4 times each as I was trying to figure out stuff to put down for questions I skipped and just wasting time until the end came. At the end, they were so strict about collecting all the books and no talking and everything. I survived though and then I was counting down hours again, 1.5 hours until exam number 2 of the day, 4 hrs until freedom!
I came back to DLC, threw my waves notes on the floor of my room, grabbed my other notes and headed to lunch. I studied for a while, while eating before heading to my classroom for my last exam. I felt that I should have studied more for this one, but I just couldn’t as the math ones mattered more and I figured I shouldn’t have a problem with this one because throughout the semester it was basically a review of basic science things I had done in high school. This exam had a lot of diagrams and stuff to draw out and I took my time sketching them out and then did the short answer. Overall I don’t think it was too bad, but if I had studied more, maybe I could have written a few better answers. I finished the exam in 2 hours and then I was in the best mood I have been in this week! I was finally free from exams. I was done!! I couldn’t believe that I was finally done! I practically skipped/ran in the beautiful sunny weather back to DLC. I texted Jenny right away letting her know I was done and asking her when we’d meet up. I also went on facebook right away after surviving 48 hrs without it!
|so I stacked up all my papers and notebooks next to my feet before getting rid of a ton|
|the recycle pile, pounds of paper (sorry trees)|
I started packing up all my things and then came the hard part of going through papers and which to keep and which to get rid of. I am so bad at that at the end of the semester. I can’t just throw away all my work. I did come up with quite the stack though. Paper weights too much to bring in my suitcase, so I picked which things to keep in addition to my notebooks. I spent about an hour and a half or so packing up and then Jenny was on her way, perfect timing!
We met at the mall and had wonderful French toast for dinner and then came back to my room and watched 27 Dresses. I love that movie! It was then 8pm. I wasn’t really tired, but it felt like it should have been later. Jenny headed home, so I had to say goodbye to her, but I should see her again sometime next year as she lives in Canada and not too far from Buffalo.
I decided to head to the common room to see if anyone I knew was there and ended up finding all my friends still talking in the dining hall. I hung out with them for a bit and then headed back to my room with the intension of going to bed soon, but instead that turned into updating my blog and I figure I might as well stay up for a while in order to sleep tomorrow on the plane.