Exam sessions – energy draining.
Besides the rational and physical energy we put into our exams, we also invest emotional energy. Growing up, we may have been raised to believe that a grade says something about our character, our ability, or interest. But does it?
Exams – a way to test ourselves
When it comes to exams, we test not only our recent information gathered but the ability to go through this process. Taken by itself, only the word exam is a tiring experience, but when it is associated with the information or with a professor that made us feel anxious or unprepared.
It took me way too many exams in order to understand that a bunch of questions on a specific subject shouldn’t make me feel anxious. But the last exam session brought me something new: I changed my perspective. I took the exam as I would do homework and hoped for the best.
Of course, some grades didn’t reflect my perspective, but the grade didn’t make me feel less proud of myself. I learned to celebrate the way I felt before the exam and during it, and not to believe that the grade is the only real checkpoint of my evolution.
In our society, we appreciate good grades, and we are learned that all of our abilities are represented through grades, through a bigger authority that sees our development. For example, last week, my 9-years-old niece came to me and told me she got a C- for her English class participation. She was ravished, sad and the way she delivered her disappointment was heartbreaking.
But how could I tell her it is just a grade? How could I make her believe she is more than a letter? How could I tell her not to be disappointed when I learned that only after 15 years in our educational system?
After all these years, I know finally that an exam became a way of testing myself – my patience, my relationship with the authority, and that even if I couldn’t assimilate properly the information, that does not make me inferior, or stupid, or ignorant, and that information is always in reach.
An exam session
An exam and an exam session comprise totally different stress. Our emotional energy to deal with academic stress is limited, especially when we do not have time to process the emotional baggage after every exam. Taking every exam one by one, we drain ourselves. And after an exam session, we do not want to study or go near the academic tasks for a period.
The inability to be productive after an exam session
Productivity consists not only of quantifiable success. After an exam session, because of a lack of resources, we feel the need to stay indoors, to sleep, and to pause our lives. And after such a long and stressful period, it is normal to feel that way.
Productivity is not all about completing tasks and such things, it is also knowing when you need to charge your batteries.
One thing that I feel that invades my personal space is receiving grades during a break. After the exam session, I want to detach myself from college, but how can I do that if I keep receiving grades? There is a time where you need to know that you can peacefully rest and receiving a grade during any time of the day will make you feel that your personal space and time were invaded.
Keep in mind that an exam session is consuming and you have all the right to feel exhausted, tired, and emotionally drained. Take it easy. Productivity does not mean only quantifiable success.