Happiness Society: Revision

Revising outside can be a little more bearable

What, that word again? Yes, there it is. This is something occupying everything in Durham at the moment, and the Happiness Society has been trying to deal with it in various ways.

On Friday we asked what really cheers you up when revising, or what really helps you work. Loud music, revising with friends forcing you to do the work, revising outside for some sunshine energy – even getting drunk does wonders for revision sometimes. On Sunday we asked for some cheerful revision photos – who has not seen students sitting out on the grass this week? Or how about that bouncy castle at the library? On Monday we introduced some revision quotes:

“Oooooh, I knooooooow!” – Sybil Fawlty, Fawlty Towers.

“I have a cunning plan!” – Baldrick, Blackadder.

Roy: “We don’t need no education.”

Moss: “Yes you do. You’ve just used a double negative.” – The IT Crowd.

This is not just a Happiness Society “event” however. Everyone deals with revision in different ways. Perhaps you’re rolling around Durham as usual, having taken your notes all year like a good student, and read some articles or figured out your labs. You wander around the empty streets wondering why friend A is having a panic attack and how friend B has succeeded at actually living at the library, camping equipment and toilet-paper included. There are the students that revise in waves as well: chilling with a cold beer one moment, completely buried in hand-outs from November the next.

There is the prepared student, with colour-coded notes, who will go blank at the first question. There is the student who writes “I don’t know!” as an answer at least once. There is the student who finishes an exam just in time to check for spelling mistakes. There is the student who sets three alarms and still oversleeps. These exams are a momentous occasion in our small student lives, whether it is about a scholarship depending on good marks, or having to get up extra-early to make the distant journey to Maiden Castle.

The long-term effects of revision cannot be denied either: asking yourself in June why, why did you not pick up a book that one sunny afternoon? Maybe not having cared to begin with, wondering what all this fuss is about. For most however, the end of exams means letting out a sigh of relief. Whether those doomed questions were answered correctly or not, they are at least a thing of the past.

This make you think: if revision can have such happy effects (revision being over) then should it not be a more happy occasion? (Don’t answer that.) Reading the above process – from different revision-modes, to different exam-situations to different results. There is no box that fits anyone – we can probably tick multiple options or experience them all at once. This is the life of a student, this is Durham in May.

Apologies for the revision talk. I am too busy revising to write anything else.

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