A night in the life of an A-Level student

A-Level (n.): a protracted method of twisting that which is beautiful into a cage of tedium.

Exam season has arrived, drawing swathes of once-vibrant youths to the limit, as they battle to jump through the cast-iron hoops of their examiners. Myself included.

Months of revision, months of dogma, months of pep-talks: we have been led to believe that our entire lives hinge on this one week. We have decided on our favourite university, our favourite course; we know what is needed to get us there.

And so the day before that all-important history exam arrives. You’ve done all the revision you can so you have a break, take it easy…
8.30pm Have a relaxing bath.
9.00pm Go to bed early, read a couple of chapters of Breaking Dawn.
9.30pm Lamp off, eyes closed, think of anything but tomorrow.
10.00pm It’s hailing.
10.30pm Still hailing.
11.00pm Ok, this is ridiculous. Move into spare bedroom.
11.10pm There’s no way I’ll get eight hours sleep now… It doesn’t matter. You can still get seven- what difference can an hour make?
12.00am Need a glass of water… Don’t think about it.
12.15am But I’m so thirsty…
12.30am Right, I’m getting some water.
12.45am Seven hours isn’t going to happen… Six will be fine.
1.00am Toilet.
1.30am I literally can’t sleep… Shut up and put a relaxation CD on.
2.00am ‘Feel your whole body settling into the ground… your whole body…’
2.30am ‘your whole-‘ CD player finds itself hurled across the bedroom floor.
3.00am I am literally never going to sleep. What if I don’t sleep?… Well if you keep thinking about not sleeping then you’re on your way to finding out.
3.30am Counting sheep.
4.00am Stopped hailing- I’ll go back in my own bed.
4.30am Oh my God: I cannot remember how to sleep! What do you even do? Is there a special way? Is it just close-your-eyes-and-hope-for-the-best?
5.00am May as well not go in tomorrow. Have essentially failed anyway… Stop being immature.
6.00am Just manage one hour- one hour of sleep, please!
6.30am What am I going to do? I have an exam in less than three hours.
6.45am Maybe if I pretend I have the onset of some awful disease…
7.00am *Alarm*
11.00am Throw university prospectuses out of bedroom window.

2 thoughts on “A night in the life of an A-Level student

  1. I enjoyed this post. I can relate. I was a History major and English minor. Every test I took was a long written essay. My final grade depended on my extended answer to one question. i usually had the choice of two questions. To study, I had a list of possible essay questions. The greatest challenge was when I took the History of the Japanese Empire. Somehow, without studying, I managed a B. I still do not know to this day how that happened.

    You will do great!

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