The Exam Nightmare: Preparing for exams in Winter – what a pain!

By: Tilmeezatun Noor
It was a day before Eid-ul-Azha when we were taken by a surprise – its pleasantness or unpleasantness varying greatly among us. After 3rd year and 1st year of undergraduate degree course, it was our turn – 2nd year. Yet its timing made it a surprise or one could even call it an “Eid gift”. Yeah this surprise or a “gift” was a “date sheet” – which many of us are scared of. My friend calls it a “death notice” given its miseries. And along with it came all the worries, tensions and a paramount pressure. What bothered more was its span – which was too long for our poor selves to carry with. It demanded two months of our peace and tranquility.
Hang on, do not take me wrong. I don’t mean exams are an annoyance but these definitely change our routine and this change is characterized by our sleeping hours, our recreational hours and our socializing hours all diminishing with the only increase in our study hours. And such change is practicable for lesser period of time not for two long months. Stated simply one cannot maintain an exam-like situation for too long – that too when exams stretch unnecessarily with a break of fortnight between two papers!
To support my point I have an interesting example to prove that such exams do not engrossus completely as these usually do. When we had almost a fortnight (31 Dec-15 Jan) to prepare for our next paper, most of us including myself were seen sharing celebrations with our recently Class 10th pass-out siblings and cousins. However even though apparently partying yet we were mentally preoccupied with the “demon” called exams, it had become not only our obsession but a kind of mental and even physical status quo in which no other idea or move was allowed to take place.
Meanwhile in these fifteen days many developments took place in our valley – where mostly uncertainty prevails, natural or otherwise – most significant being the breaking of sixteen year record of cold in valley, incessant snowfall and its natural consequent of electricity failure. Thereby adding to our despair was a bleak spectacle characterized by chilling cold and dark nights.
Finally crossing all odds the much awaited 15th Jan arrived which had yet another big surprise in store for us, we woke to a considerable thick blanket of snow covering our gardens, backyards, rooftops, pathways et cetra. What followed were our guesses and rumors about the “postponement”. And my phone rang to the call of one of those who are prompt in making such guesses, making me angry, confused and disturbed. Her guess about the postponement of exams very much like our weatherman turned to be true. And this paper was scheduled after another fortnight on 1st Feb, now stretching it miserably putting all our desperate plans on hold.
Now it is quite evident that exams in the heart of winters – Chilai Kalan are marked by uncertainty given the possibility of bad weather, also unease given the biting cold and poor heating arrangements in colleges. Moreover, such a routine of long exams typical of undergraduate classes have made studies an exam-affair instead of making them a year-long affair.

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