It’s over. All over. I almost can’t believe it, now it feels like time flew by with speed, c. (The speed of light, haha.) Somehow I’m feeling rather… neutral. Numb, maybe. Not ecstatically happy, not exactly depressed because I won’t see most of my classmates again for awhile, just … in the middle. Let me sum up my more-than-one-month-long A-Level exams with a few keywords:
I love having all the desks to myself, muahaha. Alone. As stated in my last vlog, I didn’t have housemates anymore because they’ve finished with their exams. And the juniors that the notice said would occupy my house — they never showed up. I suppose there were less students than expected, so they filled another block instead. Being alone doesn’t necessarily equal to loneliness, though. It was good on one hand, no noisy distractions and I hogged three of the four desks, turned on my songs as loud as I wanted, and could sleep anytime I wanted to.
Speaking of sleep, insomnia. Which leads to being nocturnal. I don’t know how it started, but I ended up going to sleep after dawn prayer, which is at 6 am, at least three times in the final week. And woke up around noon. (Luckily we don’t have exams in the morning, because of the whole standardised timezone, "we can’t do it earlier than the UK" thing.) I tried so hard to sleep early, like going to bed at 1 am, or even 3 am, (see how screwed my sleeping schedule is? 3 am is considered early! :shakefist: ) but nope. I ended up wasting hours just tossing and turning and staring, wide-eyed, into the dark. Here’s a quote from a facebook note written in the early morning hours:
It’s 5:15 am.
I haven’t slept.
I can’t. Even last “night” I slept at 6:00 am, after Subuh. But at least I semi-planned that, so I did Stats exercises the whole early-morning. Unlike tonight, when I went to bed at 3++am. What a waste of time, man…
So far, I’ve:
- tossed and turned
- changed head positions
- switched pillows
- listened to songs on my phone
- played Solitaire on my phone, until I won, which took about 3 re-deals
- applied Tiger Balm to the mosquito bites (all of the above in the dark, hence the fact that I can’t see my keyboard right now)
- drank water
- went to the bathroom
- went to the other bedroom and stared out the window
- and then I gave up and turned on the laptop
And now here I am.
God help me.
But I suppose it worked for me; considering the fact that I can’t study in the morning (like, 9 am morning, not 2 am morning) either. Too sleepy. At times it seemed like my "day" started at 9 pm, after dinner and a fresh shower, then full-on exercises (or revising old exercises) till 5 or 6 am.
This change in sleeping habits does not come without side-effects, though. Hence, sickness. At first it was a blocked nose after I came back to the hostel after a one-week break. Really bad, stuffy or runny nose, can’t-sleep-at-night-because-I-can’t-breathe (oh hey I guess this is how the insomnia started ) for a few days. I thought it was the dust or whatever from the house, since nobody lived in it for a week, but it didn’t feel like an allergy or anything. (Even if it were, I’d say I was allergic to exams.) I bought Clarinase pills after the third day of no-improvements and it got better afterwards. (I generally hate medicine, just because it’s drugs and I don’t like all them foreign chemical stuff going in my body, and I’ve had hard times trying to swallow pills/tablets before (sensitive gagging reflex? ), but yea, I gave in and it worked. Surprisingly, I had no problem swallowing the Clarinase tablets, though. Must be the orange juice I gulped down with it. ) I also woke up with a sore throat one of the days, which turned into a cold at night, and now I’m coughing like crazy with disgusting greenish phlegm. Ew. I’m home now and took some cough medicine already, but I dunno, doesn’t seem to work that well.
The sicknesses didn’t interfere with my exams that much, aside from the need for tissue during my runny-nose stint, and having my eyes tear up from trying not to cough so much (so as not to disturb the whole hall) during the last paper.
I suppose I should talk about the exams themselves. Overall, I guess they were … okay. Better than our trial exams (which mostly consisted of past year questions), and I managed to scrape straight A’s for trials, so I’m hoping this one won’t be bad. Physics was total crap, though. Unit 4 and 5, mostly. :shakefist: Core Maths somehow became easier and easier as we did more exercises / learnt more stuff in Further Maths, while Statistics and Mechanics are not that tough of subjects to begin with. Further Maths — I had this goal to NOT leave any answers hanging, I really really wanted to have proper answers for all the questions, but nope. Not possible. :shakefist: Some you just can’t figure out, or would take too much time to, so you do whatever you can, and then skip to the next one. FP1 was alright though, I didn’t leave any hanging answers, thank God.
1) Pretzels. I finished half that bag all by myself, hah. 2) Cereal. Nothing weird, unless you know that the pic was taken at 2 in the morning. 3) My classic ironed tuna sandwich. And I do mean ironed. (Toaster’s broken.) 4) Leftover tuna with crackers. 5) Grapes! Yeay fruit’s good, especially considering the fact that I hate veggies. 6) 7) 8) I decided I was sick of peanut butter and margarine and cheese so my sandwiches needed a different topping. How ’bout boiled eggs? Yeaahh that’ll work! So yep, electric-kettle-boiled egg. With orange juice. Exam season’s usually also related to food. In my case, it’s both skipping proper meals (and having snacks at home [see above] instead) to save time, and also junk food, to eat away the stress. (Seriously.) I’ve had a McD chocolate sundae, a Mars bar, three Kit-Kat Chunky bars (hey, they came in a pack of three, so… ), a pack of MnMs, and a bar of Cadbury Milk Chocolate throughout those several weeks of exams. Usually I hardly ever buy myself chocolate. Like, maybe once a month at the most.
And… this is just something I felt, it seemed that the more we reached the end of our course, the more distant I became towards my fellow programmates. It could be due to technical reasons, like having no more classes, so everybody’s just in their rooms studying with housemates (or, you know, alone ), and the fact that some drive cars to campus for the exams (me included), so unlike my previous exams, this time I hardly had any chance to chat with the girls while waiting to enter the hall and stuff (because if you take the bus, you obviously need to get ready earlier and wait longer compared to the convenience of having a car), but … I have the feeling that it’s just ’cause we’re nearing goodbye. I know this about myself — sometimes I push people away from me so they can’t (or don’t have to) do the same to me. Or so that I won’t have to say goodbye. It’s weird and ironic, and I feel so bad, but it happens.
But, yeah, I’ll definitely be seeing them again. My archies (there are just six of us) will be coming to BTN too next week, and we’ll have our graduation dinner in August, as well as coming to collect our results. Even in the UK I’m sure we won’t be that far from one another, it will be alright, InshaAllah.
In other news, I might not have internet access for awhile after this, #1 because of the 5-day camp I’ll be going to, and #2 because we’re moving to our new house tomorrow, and the whole housing area still has no phone lines. So unless we subscribe to a new broadband service that doesn’t require a landline, I may be severely internet-deprived. No matter though, I suppose it will just give me more time to work on crafts. And I hope I won’t get into that spiraling hole of holidayitis, which symptoms include ridiculous laziness, overdose of sleep, and forgetting all those things you’ve been planning to do since before exams. (I always get all these ideas of what to blog about or what crafty things to make, etc. when I am busy as hell with studies/school. But when I have nothing to do, those ideas just flop away and the motivation decreases exponentially. [Note all these Physics references, geesh! ])
Other random photos:
Exams would not be complete without a countdown. At first it was a countdown to the start of exams, and then the end of them. In case you noticed, the fourth and fifth picture shows different writing because the cleaners rubbed my whiteboard clean. Sheesh. And, I accidentally switched the last two images around , so it’s not downwards chronological.Notes on the wall, classic method of remembering points. See Tikki, I still use this a lot! Though for these exams, I only pinned them up right before the final week, for the hardest papers. I’ve made those notes (I call them cheat sheets) ages before, usually in preparation for topic tests and stuff, but they’re really helpful for these bigger exams too. Lists! I love lists. I not only had one, or two, but THREE exam schedule lists to tick off from. One is the official schedule given by the college, one is a printed, colour-coded page of just the subjects I’m taking, and that long one is a daily What to Study list that started from 20th April (quite late, considering my first exam was on 14th May). As you may be able to see, I was too ambitious in the beginning and put two or three subjects in one day. I thought, in case I was sick of reading Physics, then I’ll do Maths, right? Wrong. Best to put just one subject and do the same thing all day, at least your brain gets better at it.While I was sorting my old stuff, I found this… piece of writing I must’ve spitted out during one of my SO SICK OF MAAAATTHHHSSS phases I find the obviously-deteriorating-as-you-move-down handwriting particularly … meaningful? Since we were leaving the hostel for good, everybody had to clean up and pack their stuff in record time. Here’s my pile of books and papers, two stacks to hand down to juniors, some books and files to bring back, and some notes I decided to bring home as well so I can use up the paper. (To either make paper beads, or papier mâché, or handmade paper. ) But there was also one pile of A4 papers that I don’t want to recycle myself, so I’ll leave that in the room for the cleaners to collect.This is part of a receipt from my grocery shopping. It’s supposed to say unsalted butter, but uh… I guess that didn’t fit, so… (And that was the first time I bought butter instead of margarine/vegetable spread — elf should be proud. Actually it was just ’cause the butter came in small packages because I wasn’t gonna use a whole lot of it anyway.)
Just posting up the pictures up there reminded me of how freaking long I’ve had this layout (over two years! ), so making a new layout for this blog will be in my to-do list for the holidays. To think that I used to change layouts every few months! I’m so rusty at coding though, and Photoshop-ing, and my WordPress needs upgrading too… So much to do! Until next time (whenever that will be), take care, taa-taa!