Tuesday 20 August 2019

Student Diary: The suspense is so bad I even tried (and failed) to make my own fidget spinner as a distraction

Exam student Bobbi Nic Eoin (18) pictured at home in Ventry, Co Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh
Exam student Bobbi Nic Eoin (18) pictured at home in Ventry, Co Kerry. Photo: Domnick Walsh

Bobbi Nic Eoin

Confidence is contagious. So is lack of self confidence, according to Vince Lombardi.

I'm persistently and meticulously trying to master the art of positive thinking. I need to instil and inject false self-confidence into my bloodstream.

Optimism is hard to find when there is fear of the unknown. Uncertainty about what your future holds and what the exams will reveal. I have to admit that it is increasingly difficult at the moment because the impending doom that is the Leaving Certificate is staring me in the face, ready to assess and test my skills.

In my study of 'Othello' and 'The Great Gatsby' I have encountered many instances where pathetic fallacy is used, which is when the characters' feelings are mirrored by the weather outside. I can't help but think of the irony of pathetic fallacy with regards to my current emotions.

The weather has been a bit erratic; it rains heavily and then the sun comes out. At times, it has been glorious, glowing and clear. But, when so, has it truly portrayed my feelings? No - I have had to resort to moving my study table to face a blank, boring, brain-numbing wall, so the weather doesn't tempt me to go to the beach and my simple mind isn't distracted by anything.

Distraction and procrastination are dangerous habits to adopt. Yesterday, I decided to learn how to make my own fidget spinner. Why? I don't fully understand my cognitive reasoning, it seemed essential and perfectly logical in that moment (it didn't spin).

I live in Kerry. It's rainy all year around, 24/7, except for the weeks surrounding the Leaving Cert.

Also, the new season of 'House Of Cards' was just released on Netflix; it is taking all of my willpower and strength not to binge-watch it and neglect tedious, time-consuming study and school work. I will resist and refrain from opening my laptop and delving into the terrifying world that is American politics.

I deleted Snapchat, a colossal distraction, weeks ago. You may think this is mature and logical of me, but now I continuously browse Instagram instead.

Relief. I long for it to flood over me like a hot shower after swimming in a cold, choppy, stormy sea. I wonder do others feel as though the pressure and reality of these exams is depreciating, deteriorating and stemming their creativity?

I reassure myself it's only temporary. I am so excited about giving my full and undivided attention to watching more films, shows, reading more books, doing more art and discovering new music.

I find it has been tough and challenging for me to do not much else other than school work, although I am also grateful. I fully acknowledge how lucky I am to have had a proper academic education that requires testing.

"Post-traumatic mock disorder" will inevitably be triggered once I set foot in that exam hall. Those cold, black, heartless, hard fold-up chairs. The suspense. I want it to begin, so it can end.

English paper one, I'm not sure what to think. What will the theme of this year be? Last year, it was 'Journeys'. The essay is 25pc.

I don't have any essays pre-prepared, I'm just going to hope and pray to the examiner gods that they give at least one accessible, open and topical title to explore and write about. Is that too much to ask? I know they will. I have to be optimistic.

As Marcus Garvey said: "With confidence, you have won before you have started."

Bobbi Nic Eoin is a pupil at Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, Dingle, Co Kerry

Irish Independent

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