Friday, 3 May 2013

Day 199: Exam Nightmares

The beginning of this week as I started studying ‘for real’ for my exams, I had two exam nightmares in a row. In the first one I had started doing the exam and was pretty much writing down and selecting whatever as I hadn’t really studied to have a ‘good grade’ but just to pass. After a while of doing the exam I got distracted and started doing other stuff (for some reason I was doing the exam in Belgium in my parents’ house where I used to live, so I could leave the room and do other things). Then I suddenly realise that my two-hour time limit is about to run out and I run back to the exam papers to finish them, and then I realise that I wasn’t supposed to write the answers on the exam papers themselves, but on separate sheets. So I’m going ‘Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Shit, Shit, Shit’ and I quickly start copying over what I wrote. Because time is running out like really fast, I am writing at superspeed and notice that my handwriting is barely illegible. More ‘Shit, Fuck, Shit, Fuck’. As I am copying and thus re-reading my answers, I suddenly realise how many of my answers aren’t straight but just ‘circling around the question’ where I say things without really saying anything. So now I’m really freaking out because I am both running out of time and it’s becoming evident that even if I had time to write everything down – I’d probably still fail.

Then I see that there are old notebooks lying around from my brother on the same subject ( a subject I haven’t even heard about in my ‘wake life’ and so don’t even have this subject this semester), and I peak at what is in the notes and see that he has given completely different answers to some of the questions and I go ‘Oh oh’ because it’s clear that I won’t be able to pull off ‘pretending I know the material’ because I can see the answers are quite specific and its obvious looking at what I wrote that I don’t have a clue what I am talking about.

At some point time runs out and I wake up. I’m covered in sweat and freaked out.

The second dream/nightmare was very vague and wasn’t me doing an actual exam but was only about the exam schedule and preparing for the exam and gathering notes – but the main stressor was the schedule, just looking at the days and the times made me nervous. This one also played out in Belgium.

So what I found quite interesting in both these dreams is that the play-out takes place in Belgium – and not in South Africa where I am currently having exams. This reminded me that most of my exam stress and worries took place where I grew up. I can see there is a difference studying for exams, here, now, compared to how I used to study exams in Belgium. But even though there’s a difference in situation, simply because there are some symbols and variables the same –all those memories from the past get reloaded right back and come interfere with what I am doing now. It’s like the mind is going “oh oh, ‘exams’ and ‘schedule’ --- I know this one!!!” and then proudly goes and digs into the archives of the past and digs up old records containing thoughts, feelings and emotions and starts playing the record to make everything feel like ‘the good old times’.

So within the next couple of posts I want to investigate my relationship towards studying, exams and grades to remove the garbage from the past so I can study in peace lol.
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