The Plague of Post-Exam Zombiefication

As I lie down on my bed with my legs dangling over the edge, I once again go through my repetitive routine. Pick up my phone, scroll through social media, put it back down and sigh. I’ve but finished my exams and already I feel… Listless, languid, lethargic. Surely, I shouldn’t be so bored when I have the whole summer ahead of me?

After my AS retakes in late May, I had a whole month to revise for the ‘real’ deal – the A-levels which would determine my place at uni. I would wake up early every morning and go to my local library where I would drill out essay after essay until my hand would ache and I could no longer recall the difference between a soliloquy and a monologue. After that, I would go home and collapse on my bed, only to get up the next morning and go through the process all over again. I must have been running on adrenaline. It seems the only possible explanation why someone would do such a thing (although, the pressure of obtaining those unfairly high entry requirements may certainly have been a factor).

However, now it’s all over. Good-bye Secondary school. This morning, I rolled lazily out of bed at a satisfactory 1pm and did… nothing. The first wave of emotion I felt was guilt. I was not studying, and although I had nothing to study for, I felt unproductive; I also felt that I had nothing to look forward to. When I had previously filled my time with meticulous study time tables and a countdown until summer, I now had endless days of doing nothing, with nothing to look forward to. In reality, I was only bored because after sitting my exams, I felt I had no purpose. Although the saying goes that we should live for the present, I have now come to the conclusion that we should live for the anticipation of the future. True, it doesn’t have the same ring, but it gives our lives purpose. If we all had things to do and things to be working on, it will keep us out of doing things that would only occur because we would be bored. This philosopy is applied frequently to young people, where drug abuse and rising crime levels are attributed to them because they were bored out of their minds with ‘nothing better to do’.

Next week, I plan on starting a MOOC. This is short for Massive Open Online Course, and I’d highly recommend them to anyone (and no, this article is not sponsored). Irrespective of your age, you can sign up to sites such as FutureLearn and just scroll through the thousands of free courses available. They range from science-related topics to the arts, or just anything that might spark your interest. You’re able to state it on your CV afterwards too and get a printed certificate for the small price of £35. It could highly enhance your chances in the ever-more competitive ‘world of work’. If I get the grades this year, I hope to be attending Warwick University, where I shall be studying Modern Languages. When I went to their Open Day, they strongly suggested I took a MOOC relating to my chosen course, as they said many universities are now looking for students who go the extra mile.

So, as tempting as it is to have my feet dangling over my bed, scrolling through a multitude tweets, you will find me on my laptop preparing myself for the future. Regardless of your goals, the danger of post-exam lethargy is real, help save a life today by engaging with your future. 

Words by Mélissa Chan-Cheape

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