When lost for new words, look to the old ones

Usually, I would have thousands of words awaiting the breath of life whispering at my fingertips and yet today…well, I’ll be honest with you, today it feels as if I have no new words.

I have instead a brain that is packed so full with notes and topics and philosophers’ names for my upcoming exam that I can’t quite remember what it feels like to think as myself and not as Thomas Aquinas. Which, since he was writing in the 4th Century B.C., is quite an exhausting man to emulate.

Not much happens during the exam period, have you noticed? It’s as if Drama takes a step back and leaves everyone alone for a bit, which, let’s face it, is perfectly acceptable seeing as we’re all so fantastic at creating our own. Public domains such as Facebook melt down and become an announcement page for anyone about to walk into an exam hall, hoping for someone to ‘like’ their status and give them reassurance that, if they do fail, at least they’re still popular in the virtual world. Any fashion awareness goes completely out the window, because no one has the time or the limbs to juggle extra outfits or accessories because they’re already carrying five folders and a laptop bag. And to top it all off, communication with family and friends dissolves into a constant stream of comparisons on how many hours of revision each person has done, what grades they hope to achieve and how this will affect them FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

Now, I am beyond compassionate to the drama Kings and Queens out there, what with me being one myself, but I don’t understand the panic in this scenario. This does not mean that I haven’t panicked before…but even whilst panicking, it felt like a bit of a waste of energy. An exam is an exam. You have spent years preparing, days cramming and yet no matter how hard you work at it, you’re not going to be able to change what questions turn up on that paper. You can just give it your best shot (or do the best darn bullshitting you can manage).

In the meantime, find some comfort-something or someone to bring you back down to earth and remind you of what else there is in life. Take a break from the books and settle in front of the TV to watch your favourite movie; stride out of those library doors and take a walk in the real world; run to the newsagents and buy the most expensive ice lolly, just because you can. For me, I find the sun is a beautiful distraction. Just sitting in the garden and listening to the birds makes me feel smaller, and then-in the grand scheme of things-writing an essay or solving an equation or two doesn’t seem so bad.

Because, who really cares if you get it wrong at the end of the day?

What I guess I’m trying to say is, if I don’t have any new words for you today, I sure as hell have some pretty reliable old ones:

CALM. DOWN.

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