The seven stages of exam season at Lancaster, as told through BeReals

I never want to live through another exam season again, please

Exam season is upon us, which means endless hours in the library desperately trying to understand all those lectures you missed or spent playing Fireboy and Watergirl instead of taking notes. With dedication to studying comes multitudes of BeReals sat in front of a laptop screen. They capture the long days sat in the library, or expose you when you told your friends you’d be working but really you’re just doing some online shopping. So, next time you’re taking a BeReal during exam season, see if you can work out what stage you’re at.

1. Determination

The first stage is where you start off strong. Sure, thinking about exams stresses you out, but they seem like a faraway nightmare. The Easter break has left you feeling rejuvenated, and you know you’re going to show those exams who’s boss. You make a plan to go to the library every day, stay away from Greggs and only study on C-Floor. In summer term, you’re finally going to get your shit together.

2. Procrastination

Soon, all the determination has worn off, and you’re sat on your bed doing literally anything you can to avoid getting ready to hop on a bus and head to campus for yet another day at the library. Whether that involves scrolling TikTok, watching Netflix or cleaning the kitchen, there are so many other things that seem much more appealing than revising. Future you will definitely hate past you.

3. Caffeination

For a change of scenery, you ditch the library and head to Costa or Starbucks. With a coffee in your hand and a friend at your side, you feel like you can do anything. However, you’ll soon realise the error of your ways when you’ve been sat in Starbies for 5 hours and all you’ve done is nothing but gossip.

4. Devastation

The amount of work you have to do feels suddenly overwhelming, and dropping out seems like the best option. There’s no way you’re going to pass those exams, so all you can do is cry. There are plenty of good spaces to cry in the library — the toilets, the phone zone, even the C-Floor booths.

5. Socialisation

Breakdown over, your friends join you for a study session next to A-Floor’s living wall. While this is only slightly more productive than in Starbucks, it certainly makes you feel less like a failure when you realise they have about as much of a clue about how to revise as you do. Exam season can’t be all about endless hours in the library alone, and your friends definitely make you feel a lot better.

6. Frustration

The momentary surge in motivation and faith in yourself has abandoned you. Exams are looming closer every day, and while you’ve made progress in your revision, everything seems futile. You’re frustrated at your past self for not working harder, at the amount of content you still have to revise, and at the University for giving you exams (even though you chose to do this degree). Let’s be honest, you want to give up, but the fear of failure (and your daily Monster from Spar) is the only thing keeping you going.

7. Examination

The big day has finally come. You open up the exam paper, only to find the questions make no sense, despite all the preparation you’ve done. Thankfully, you’ve brought snacks to the library, and BeReal goes off just in time to capture this tumultuous event. Now all you’ve got to do is frantically write for the next few hours, then you’re one step closer to finishing exam season for another year.

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