Finals Diary, part 8: Calm before the Storm?

My first exam will be on Tuesday.

I am feeling optimistic about it, and also relieved. As far as my countdown stands, it is now only 18 days until my exams will be over. Honestly – I am excited. I can’t wait for it to be over, and to move on from Oxford.

This weekend has been fairly chilled out. I’m trying not to think about the exams themselves, and trying not to think too much about the question of the “result”. I find thinking in terms of the stakes involved is what’s most effective in sending me into a panic, and that isn’t what I need right now.

Today I bought my subfusc and carnations for sitting the exams. For those not familiar with Oxford tradition, this might sound somewhat bewildering. However – and I’m being serious here – it’s obligatory to wear academic dress to sit your university exams in Oxford. For me, this means a white blouse, black skirt or trousers, a ribbon, gown and mortarboard. Carnations are not a compulsory part of the getup, but are common. You wear a white one for the first exam, pink for those in between and a red one for the final exam. As far as I’m able to tell, this is a “tradition” invented in… the 90s, but I suppose it adds to the ritual of the whole thing. I am not sure if I will be able to update this blog midweek as I have will have five exams to sit, but I will update at the weekend with how things are going.



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