Exam Time: Choose Engineering

A Chinese Philosopher once said: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

This wisdom gave me the strength to begin reading the first of millions of slides just before Christmas. I’ve got 6 exams in January and there’s a lot to cover.

December was largely a blur of deadlines and slog. And coffee. I managed to submit my Project Interim Report on time, thanks largely to the extension. I was greatly appreciative of the online submission, which meant I wouldn’t have to hang around until the report was finished. The extra few days at home gave me time to see some friends, and finish making my sister’s Christmas present. More or less. (Pro-student tip: Where you can, make your own presents. Its cheaper, and more thoughtful. Everyone’s a winner)


The problem with Christmas when you’re at uni, – especially in your final year – is that as hard as you try to enjoy the holidays and relax a little, there’s always a nagging feeling that you should be revising. It casts a cloud over everything which won’t go away until the last week in January. I probably only had 4-5 days “off” over Christmas.


In fact the urge to get on with revision was so strong I returned to Manchester early after Christmas, but my revision didn’t get off the best of starts. I spent 4 days in bed with the flu, including New Years. Maybe my body just couldn’t handle the shock of being back in the cold after 3 weeks doing work in front of the fire at home. So much for the revision planner I had made. Oh well.


Christmas is the time of peace and goodwill to all men. Oh, and football too. The fixture schedule goes mental over Christmas and if you love football it’s heaven. I managed to watch 4 games in a day thanks to Sky and the internet. This Premier League season continues to be greatly entertaining. Despite the Toon Army falling away from the top 4 over Christmas. There are several reasons for this:

1.            Newcastle are serving up entertaining football (mostly)

2.            Sam Allardyce, (aka the footballing anti-christ) is having a torrid time at West Ham.

3.            Man Utd are struggling.

4.            There’s plenty of high scoring games to enjoy.

5.            sunderland are in their rightful place.

Thank god for football. Its one of the few things keeping me sane at the moment.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you winter was coming. At least for once the north didn’t suffer the worst of the weather. Manchester and Newcastle were both spared as the south has been battered by the weather over the last few weeks. As wet and miserable as it is in Manchester, its worth remembering: it could be worse.

I’ve got 2 hard exams, 2 okay-ish exams and 2 where I’m confident. Thank god I’ll only have 3 in the summer. I don’t find any of the material beyond me, there’s just an awesome amount to cover. My walls are gradually filling up with mind maps and diagrams and lists of definitions and of course copies of my exam timetable.

The private study rooms are a good idea for intense revision sessions. I prefer the ones in the new Alan Gilbert building next to the union, mainly because they’re high tech and such. Though you’ll have to book in advance, its worth organising though, as you can get through lot of work there.

My motivation throughout exams is a trip to Amsterdam we’ve got booked at the end of January. It’ll be the weekend after my final exam – instrumentation and measurement on the 23rd. Something tells me I’ll be in need of a holiday by then, especially as semester 2 begins on the 27th.


Adapted from trainspotting:

Choose engineering. Choose coffee. Choose deadlines. Choose Bernoulli’s Equation, the Fourier Series and the jacobean. Choose staying at George Begg until 11pm finishing coursework. Choose high blood pressure, stress, and general befuddlement. Choose more work than all your housemates put together. Choose a project. Choose more coffee. Choose no social life. Choose wondering why you are doing this to yourself on a Friday Night. Choose the big bang theory. Choose thick reports. Choose a calculator which isn’t able to store text. Choose calculus.

Choose triumphing at the end of it all, picking up your degree on graduation day with pride and being able to do almost anything with your future. Choose any job you want.


Choose engineering.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s