Approximately an hour ago I finished my exams! For some this would be reason enough to burst out the champagne (though what student can afford champagne?) and spend an evening revelling in alcohol and parties, but to me there is actually no cause for such action. It’s not because I’m depraving myself of celebration in an act of self-cruelty but it is simply because this isn’t the end. The parties would feel stupid if my results arrive and I’ve failed them all miserably. Hubris is what the ancient Greeks would have called it, the pride before a fall. Like the Trojans I would have danced and drank and celebrated and the results would have snuck in, disguised in an envelope, through the front door before snuffing me out and killing all hope I had. Though this is mainly precautionary. I know that I have passed.
Exams have been strangely easy for me. Easier than A-levels at least. Ed said it was because Archaeology and Ancient History is my language and it comes very naturally to me, perhaps proven in my Trojan horse metaphor in the previous paragraph. Thinking about it now he may be right. All throughout exam season I studied and read books, but I was never the sort of person to sit outside ten minutes before the exam panicking over hand-written prompt cards on Augustus or Thucydides like so many other people did. When it came to being in the exam room I could spew information on Hellenistic sculptures as if I was a walking Wikipedia and could answer all questions with ease. Looking back at my A-levels I hated English Language and almost failed it, perhaps more testament to passion creating success. There’s no point on celebrating the end when I was never stressed out over the exams in the first place, there was no surge of relief at the thought of counting down that final clock and waiting for the invigilator to say “your time is up”. Instead I thought ‘what do I do now?‘.
Of course, I could have chosen to party hard with a group of strangers writhing en-mass like the snakes on Medusa’s head, though quite frankly it isn’t even my style any-way. Even if I had cause to pop a cork and swing the poison down my throat, I won’t. I think I would much rather soak in good literature than vodka and rather fill my stomach with a chow-mein than empty it on a blurry pavement at three o’ clock in the morning, outside a kebab shop. If I want to celebrate passing exams, making it a year without dropping out or without injury, and having no strange quarter-life crisis then I don’t think I would do so by drinking within an inch of my life.