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A Hideous Loop

·5 mins·

Exams.cpp #

int main(){

while(!EngineeringOver){

for (const auto& exam: semesters){

/* A month-long ordeal that drains the life out of you, makes you and a thousand others monotonic to a mental cycle of three days.

It’s fun and games before the iconic three days begin. Well not exactly fun and games because we are primed for this hammer-blow of a month with project deadlines, assessments and presentations but its trivial compared to the rollercoaster we ride during the exam but the real game begins on T-3 days to exam.

In bed looking at the ceiling trying to remember some formula and the formula contorts itself into a monster trying to eat you alive, and awake again. A short snooze story.

You unlock your phone and start looking through the syllabus. Each page of the syllabus you scroll, you see new words and terminology never seen all semester. Dread finally pulls you out of your bed and onto study.

Lunch time and asking everyone how much of the syllabus have they covered is the greeting for the day. Some have already covered half, some just started like me and others who will start tomorrow.

The grinding continues, understand where you can , rote where you cannot but sweep away everything that there is to read in the book. Word by word, line by line and paragraph by paragraph until you gather enough confidence that you’ll solve any question they put in front of you. All day long grinding at the same book.

Kicks the door, Batista bombs the pillow and back to the chair.

You find yourself searching the internet for understandable explanation of some of the topics. You cannot find the solution but discover yet another interesting site that you’ll probably never visit again. Back where I was then, turning on that grinder.

The circuits, the mathematics, the waves and the code.

A bit of football and calisthenics every evening helps you break the ‘sit and stare’ cycle. It ensures a full body stretch, mental and physical. After a long and tiring day, it’s bedtime and you’ve just managed to barely scratch the surface.

Syllabus progression at 5%. Recharging…

The next morning starts, more proactive and alerted. Yesterday’s snail-pace reading is taking us nowhere, today we have to start jogging. To add a little productivity, the background music changes to long hours of classical music. A play, read, pause cycle. Chopping the pages left, right and center, soaking it all up like a sponge.

The frequency with which you experience Deja Vu increases, experts say(I didn’t talk to one but articles online suggest so) it’s because of increased stress. Confirmation bias has me look no further but I might have a superpower to re-experience the past when I’m stressed, we’ll never know.

The backdrop on my curtains turn from golden to blue to golden again all the while I’m at my desk working on the Fast Fourier Transform of a signal with a butterfly diagram. A good amount of exam pressure has dulled some of my senses and all I see are problems.

Syllabus progression at 60%. One day left.

The sprint starts on the final day.

By hook or crook you manage to convince yourself that you have covered all there is. Some noisy neighbors start discussing equations that you never saw mentioned in your reference. Damn them, and their references for bringing in more confusion at this late hour. However, by the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you have finished the contents or not you’re saturated. Nothing is going in now.

Stack Overflow! Progression untracked after 90%.

You have no recollection of whatever you’ve read these past days. Without a good session of revision, it’s as good as having read nothing. The loot you filled your sack with now needs to be reorganized or else the search time for the answer inside the great cauldron of your head exceeds the measly three hours. A bit like hashing the most important concepts.

*Question life decisions and contemplate on the road not taken before going to the exam. I know, I know it wouldn’t have been any easier but the road not taken always seems easier. What could have been! /

}

/* How on earth does this circuit work? - First Year

Oh, so this is how you draw the circuit. - Second Year

That’s a circuit? - Third Year

There’s a circuit? - Fourth Year

I wonder if in search of excellent grades, we have failed to become good learners. Cram and spam tactics work good on paper but rarely are of any use in practical life. The end of an exam signals another list of interests being left unchecked, another list of project works abandoned and another list of dull knowledge added. Eight battles trying to not be broken, but rarely do people make out without scratches. You collect any pieces of your broken self and try to glue them as they were before the month, but a lot is just lost never to be assembled quite as before.*/

}

In the end, it doesn’t even matter.

return 0

}