DAY 15

Day 15: Finals Rant

May 18, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

CHI WAH LEARNING COMMONS – HKU – 22:13 DAY 15          (Photo credits to Kenny Chow!)

Its Day 15 of finals season and I am fighting for my life as pipe flows and boundary layers attempt to drown me in viscous fluid and endless formulas I will never make sense of.

Highlights for the past two weeks have included thinking about the menu at the SU canteen and finding a closer restroom to my seat. I actually know the exact time when the last seat from this long row of black tables will be taken up. 9.27am. I come around then. So it’s MY SEAT. That’s right, you can hang your head and shuffle off to find some other cosy hideout for the day. There’s plenty to go around. Good luck.

Now I know. Yes. I know. Examinations are hard. They are a pain in the butt. I agree one million percent with the “Stop Exams! Save Trees!” concept. Hey, I’m an Environmental Engineering major, I definitely like trees more than exams. Trees are green!

And I have unpleasantly discovered that people show their true colors under stress. Wait, no. I show my true colors under stress. And it ain’t pretty. Brace yourselves for a lonnggg rant on what annoys me during finals season.

First of all, there are the seat hoggers. The legendary people who think they deserve the seat more than you do. It’s all good bro. You come before me. You sit there. Your stuff’s there. The place is yours. But that seat next to you, for your girlfriend who comes at 1pm after lunch, no dude. No girl is worth all the names I’m calling you in my head right now.

Now people who bother to make the trip to the library deserve to be applauded. And many plan to stay there for more than half a day. So it’s essential to bag a nice spot for the next 5 (or 15) hours. Hence, there comes a daily routine where a lot of us would sacrifice rest and postpone breakfast to do just that. I think it’s pretty safe to say many of us aren’t exactly morning people (8.30am class professors are bound to agree with me), so in my opinion, if you hog your own seat, it’s cool. You came earlier than me. The seat is yours until you decide to leave. You can put your stuff there, go off for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I’d still think you deserve the seat. Why? Because you managed to wake up earlier than me. And during difficult times like these, when rest is so sacred and among the finest luxuries one can have, I salute you who is currently taking a power nap and drooling all over your taxation notes.

But hogging seats for friends?


They want a seat? They come early and earn it.

It ain’t fair for your friend to wake up at a forbidden hour to hog a seat for YOU just so YOU can get some proper rest. It’s fair if the two of you are taking turns. But then it’s still not fair for the rest of the student population who do wake up earlier than YOU but unfortunately 5 minutes later than your angel of a friend. I would be ranting less if you came 5 minutes after me. But one book, on one table from 9.30am all the way to 1.30pm?

I hope you fail that course.

Then there are the restrooms. Here’s what I think. If one is smart enough to be in university, one should be smart enough to use the restroom in a civilized way. It’s like people are so stressed from revision they can’t even be bothered to do their business properly. If that’s the case sister, no amount of cramming will help. Just go home and get some good ol’ shut-eye.

And then there is the issue of the cubicle door.

Let me break it down into simpler terms.

Green means that cubicle’s empty.

Red means someone’s inside.

It’s not rocket science unless you’re color blind (which in that case, would be a 50-50 guess). Why on earth would you think pushing every door you pass would be a more efficient and energy saving method for you to check which cubicle’s empty? Is looking at the door, waiting for your retina to convert the light rays into nerve impulses, have your optic nerve transmit them to your brain and have your brain do the decoding gotten too challenging? I do not fancy someone pushing my door when I’m inside. Of course it doesn’t open, but I would rather not be disturbed for the 30 seconds I’m relieving myself.

Oh and the weather. I don’t know if the weather’s crying with me, testing my perseverance, or trying to comfort me by saying, “Hey, you can’t play outdoors anyway! Might as well be a good girl and get on with hydraulics.” It’s wet, sticky, and so cold indoors. And no, hydraulics doesn’t help my temper at all either.

I avoid mirrors like the plague these days. I am one of those rare female species who needs quite a bit of time to look presentable every morning because, well, we’re not all blessed with good looks. But during finals, looking presentable is last not on my list, along with laundry and friends’ birthdays (I am so sorry, Pei Ling. Happy Belated Birthday!).

I have become so stressed and sleep deprived I remember there’s a revision timeslot with my professor but not the time, nor the venue. Heck, I need two seconds to recall my name. Neither do I know what day of the week it is anymore. Everyday’s routine is exactly the same days no long matter, just the date for my next paper. But somehow, I can still remember how many gazillion chapters I have to go.

To the people who talk in study areas. Be it in the library, the Learning Commons, the Oval, or anywhere else. Yes, there isn’t a sign saying “Ssshhh!!! No talking!” in your face, but be considerate. Don’t Skype your boyfriend in Canada and chat for half an hour on how you’re so tired but you have one essay due next week and then you’re done for the semester *waves a specific finger so hard I think your boyfriend saw it in Vancouver*.

Annnddd…. when the person sitting next to you shakes his/her legs. Kill me now.

Rants aside, the fact that I am sitting at this table trying hard not to procrastinate suddenly reminds me how blessed I am that I am receiving the best education my family can afford. For all those who are struggling to stay awake and mourning over how dry your life has been for this month (I feel ya),

take in this picture,

And ace that next paper for all the less fortunate kids out there.