1. The Oxford carnation tradition. You wear a white flower first day, a red flower the last day, and pink all the days in between [morbidly, this is supposed to illustrate how students "bleed" for their exams. I BLEED PIIIINK]. Friends purchase them for you, so it’s very special (thank you Jo, Kat, and Monkey!). They also smell nice.
2. Lunches. All of my exams end at lunchtime, so I’ve pencilled in a Fun Lunch each day. Yay!
3. Exercise. Instinct tells me to collapse in bed, but knowing myself, I would rather earn my rest both mentally and physically. Just a little time at the climbing wall or a short loop around Christ Church Meadow is a good way to shake all the stiffness out of my body.
4. Finger strength. An unintended benefit of climbing is that it makes holding a pen for long periods of time that much more bearable.
5. Facebook. I posted what I thought was just a funny self-depricating status (“And to continue my role as Lifelong Nerd, I am SUPER EXCITED for finals to start tomorrow! #haha #butactually”) and was surprised by how many likes and comments it received. Thank you virtual support!
6. Music. I’ve rediscovered Green Day as my hustle music during the day, adopting Basket Case in particular as my personal exam anthem because I feel like one. But the morning of I sing some soothing Scottish tunes from Brave in my head. And it was nice to have this in my inbox from Emma when I came home yesterday!
7. Dinners. The Monkey is in charge of feeding me dinner this week, for which I am super grateful. His exams are in a few weeks so there is plenty of time to return the favour, I reason. I’m sure he’ll come to like vegan food…
8. Surprise pidge presents. Including psychedelic gummy bears, on both a card and in an unrelated snack package from home. It must be a sign.
9. Minimal shoe options. We’re supposed to wear “black shoes” and the day before exams began, I realised my only options were Docs or Converses. I wasn’t planning to be a Rebel Chick. But my minimalist wardrobe made me…
10. Awesome pens. Muji and Stabilo are totally the way to go.
11. Having an excellent excuse to look at puppies.
12. Making no exception. I realised that I feel better when I treat life as if finals aren’t happening. When I continue to exercise, spend time with people, blog, walk without rushing. All those lovely slow-paced, enjoy-the-world habits shouldn’t go on pause. Let’s be honest, when I make The Finals Exception to my daily routine I end up lying in bed all day watching Survivor and get nothing done. It just doesn’t work for me.
12. Star Trek 2. Um, hello, it was awesome. And fictional characters saving the world kind of puts my life into perspective. (Because if I’m going to do a degree in fictional characters I should at least treat it with the kind of seriousness they would, riiight?).
13. Finding it fun. In case you still don’t believe me from point 5, I will here confirm that it is indeed true. I enjoy finals. Because I enjoy my work, and letting myself see exams as fun is such a more tolerable way of getting through.