Wrapping Up Year Two
Dust swirled everywhere in the wake of a pile of dusty foolscap paper meeting the floor — the perfect concoction for a good, long sneeze-a-thon for the rest of the day. I waited, expecting the worst. Nothing.
I sighed, relieved; and at the stack in front of me waiting to be sorted. I gave procrastination the finger and started rummaging through what’s to throw and what’s still needed — sorted in four piles. Numbers, formulas, workings — must be Math 3. Free-body diagrams, graphs and excel sheets — off to the Machine Dynamics 2 pile. Before long, I was speeding through the pile of notes, tutorials and lab sheets I shoved under the study table the day I finished my final exams concluding Year Two — two months ago.
Everything written on those papers now felt distant. Every time I paused a little longer to examine the scribbles of workings and circuits, memories I didn’t want to associate with again come floating back. Long, cold and silent nights spent cramming for the finals into the wee hours of the morning; whole afternoons spent on one or two math problems; walking into the examination hall the next morning drowsy, nervous, and grossly under-prepared; and then that wave of utter terror as I look down at the questions blankly, head dripping profusely in cold sweat.
Lifeless digits and grades on my computer screen stared back at me three weeks later, mirroring the utter disappointment that was my Semester Four final examination results. Staring at them was me, equally lifeless. Suffice to say, I was looking at my worst results yet, two years into my degree.
As the dust settled, I began to see how this might just be a fitting conclusion to Year Two. A hard slap in the face was what I needed to kick me out of over-confidence and under-preparedness. Because my final two years in degree demands of no such recklessness. With Year Three kicking off tomorrow with a whole new slew of intimidating subjects, only time will tell if this high-price of a lesson was worthwhile.
Hitting the bottom of the stack, I labelled and stacked the useful notes back together before shelving them properly with the rest of the previous semester’s notes. The floor where I was working on was empty once again as I picked up the last pile of notes — the ones to be thrown. I watched as the pile descended into our to-be-recycled paper box, stirring up another plume of dust.
This time I smiled, as I shelved all my worries and uncertainties of the past, shifting my gaze towards Year Three.