You have an exam coming up. A friend texts you, asking you how you’re doing. If your response to that was, ’I’m dying’, don’t you think for one second that you were exaggerating. Dying has five stages:denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Turns out, these are also the five stages of studying for an exam. Here’s why:
You’d made glorious plans to study , probably even made a time-table. Obviously, you were too busy putting the pro in procrastination to even consider sticking to the plan.
It all comes down to what I do the day before the exam, you tell yourself. Promises of making the most of the day and being super productive are made, only to be broken eventually.
It ‘s the day before your exam, and you wake up way later than planned. That’s when it all begins.
Stage 1: Denial
This cannot be happening. How could this be happening? You tell yourself to calm down and think it’s possible to do an entire semester’s worth studying in less than a day.
Ah, denial and the illusion of calmness it gives.
So, you have less than half a day and two pillow-sized books to read? What a great time to check every social media account you’ve ever created and a few hours later, end up watching Japanese commercials on YouTube!
Stage 2: Anger
You stop being in denial when you open a text from your friend and the only words you register are ‘prepare’ and ‘exam’.
You start to panic. Only, instead of getting to work right away, you direct all your energy towards blaming yourself. You blame yourself for all the mindless phone usage, for having chosen THE worst day to sleep in and more importantly, you’re furious at whoever thought it was a good idea to invent the snooze button.
Stage 3: Bargaining
This is the stage where you start rationalizing. You bargain, “I will never put off anything until the eleventh hour ever again if by some superpower of this universe I manage to study something by tomorrow”. You’re lost in a maze of “ifs”,only there’s no Triwizard cup at the end of this one nor do you have the company of a very handsome Cedric Diggory.Although at this stage, you’d much rather be Cedric and end up dead than study.
One look at the syllabus and you start wondering how much omission is too much omission. Whatsapp groups are buzzing, what with the fervent sharing of notes and people who actually are studying. Reality kicks you in the teeth and that leads you to the next stage.
Stage 4: Depression
You’d known all along that you’re doomed to fail but this is when you acknowledge it. You’ve gone through the first three stages only to end up in depression.Science keeps telling us how the human mind works in brilliant ways. Yet, when you’re already feeling low, all it can do is remind you of every other time you felt this way, of all those times you felt the universe was holding up a big middle finger to your face.
In times like these,it is essential to remember that no matter how bad your level of preparation is, there is always that one person who has studied way lesser than you have. Hold on to that person. More importantly, store their number on speed dial and always, always call them before an exam.
One of the most underrated feelings in the world is the one you have after reading the following words, “I haven’t started studying at all”.
Stage 5: Acceptance
You’ve finally come to terms with the fact that although you’re screwed, if you try, you can maybe minimize the extent of it. You start trying, too. In the wee hours of the morning, you have a sudden bout of energy. Caffeine becomes your new best friend and sleep becomes a word so alien that you’re too busy to even think of.
Once you’ve accepted defeat that you’ve done all you could’ve, you tell yourself,”I’ve studied enough to pass. Let’s do this” and you hope for the best. You also make promises to redeem yourself, to plan ahead for the next semester and actually stick to the plan, promises which will inevitably be broken because, let’s face it, we’ve all been there.