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Rosie Perrett puts her New Year's resolution to get out into the fresh air into practice. She has taken up running and finds it's a good antidote to revision.
This is perhaps my eighth year of doing exams. Despite that, my nerves still get the better of me and my mind fills with panic. I'm grateful that the exams I'm doing now are a mock run-through for the real thing in the summer, but even that doesn't ease my mind. When I was sitting my final exams for my first degree at Swansea University, I eventually came to be happy with my exam technique, having sat numerous exams before them. This helped me to feel mentally if not physically prepared. However, at that time, I genuinely thought that those would be my last exams . . . and then I got to vet school!
For this set of exams I got myself into a right ‘tizzy’, especially for the objective structured preclinical exam. For most of the morning I felt sick and I wasn't overly keen on the idea of eating breakfast. Part of the mental issue I have with practical exams is knowing there is no paper to hide behind; if your brain freezes and you forget all logic, it ultimately looks as though you haven't done any revision and you don't know what you're talking about. And you've only got eight minutes to get your brain in gear to complete the station. At least with a written paper you've got time for the brain to recover (but I still don't like them much). As usual, my anticipation was much worse than the actual event (a very similar situation for me when it comes to injections). I came out not feeling confident but contented with the level of my knowledge, hoping it could see me past the pass mark.
With regard to the other exams, who knows? I find them difficult to gauge, so I try not to quantify them as good or bad. Instead, I ensure I write something for every question even if it's an educated guess. I think sometimes I surprise myself with how much I truly know and have absorbed during the past term – and I hope it's enough.
Since being back at university, part of my New Year's resolution was to make sure that I didn't fester in my room and got out of the house once a day. So, dare I say it, I've started running. With lovely parks metres from my front door, I decided I might as well use them to my advantage and save some money instead of heading to the gym. I'm only little, so I figured that for every normal-size human step I am in fact taking two . . . thereby using double the energy. Logically, I don't think that's correct, but it has helped me to get out of the house and relieve some of the tension that has built up over the past few weeks.
My exams finished last Friday, giving us a weekend before getting back into the swing of things. I spent the short break before lectures going to Edinburgh to fully relax and enjoy the end of revision, before the second half of year 2 nails me to my books again.