The beginning of the end: exam dates, final lectures, and graduation!
Yesterday was a rather special day for Warwick students: we got our summer exam timetable! As soon as I saw the WhatsApp message saying it was finally out (seriously, Warwick! Get it together and release it earlier, we are begging you!) the rush in my house was delightful. After the endless days of Easter holiday essay writing and revision, to finally have a concrete date of when we would all be free was rather exciting, yet terrifying, because now we actually have to do them…
It has of course been a rather strange year and I imagine my goodbye to Warwick will be even stranger. Unlike previous years, I won’t have a graduation, nor a final in-person class with all my professors to properly say goodbye and thank you. However, I do feel somewhat grateful that even if I cannot do all of the typical end-of-university frolicking, there will be some form of online fun to replace it. In some ways, having become accustomed to online studying this year, it feels fitting to have my final classes online, even if that’s a bit soulless. It’s not like last year where Warwick students left for the Easter holidays being moderately alarmed at what was occurring in China, only to be told a week later that everything was cancelled and they’ll never go back to university again.
But yes, having now received those all important exam dates, and recovered from the shock of misreading my final exam being on June 20th instead of June 3rd, I’m actually rather excited to finish it all and enjoy the summer. I wouldn’t say the terror of exams goes away with age, but you do just get more used to the idea of them, and perhaps having lived a bit more, I’ve realised they’re not the whole world. Moreover, without getting too cringe, I do have a slight desire to just finish them off so I can proudly say I’ve worked hard and finished my degree.
Naturally, many people have become upset about the lack of in-person graduation ceremonies taking place for Warwick students this summer, given the government guidelines would allow them to take place in July or August. However, I’m still undecided. I’ve never been particularly fussed by the idea of the ceremony, and I think I’ll still feel proud without an official in-person event. But of course, I fully understand people who feel let down by Warwick’s decision to not investigate the possibility of any in-person event. For many, this is the last time they see all of their friends in one place before venturing off into adulthood, so it is sad to think we’ve lost that opportunity as well.
However, I think this whole year has made us realise what matters most, and made us all the more creative. So I think for most finalists, the best way to celebrate the end of our degree will be in whatever way we want. It’s been nice seeing so many people still taking photos with the front page of their dissertation, despite pretty much all universities only requiring them to be submitted electronically. Equally, I loved PAIS blogger Amelia last year deciding to have a fake graduation ball with her housemates, where they decided to dress up in black tie and celebrate in the garden! My Russian class (unsurprisingly being rather small) have decided to organise a final BBQ to say до свидания (goodbye) to eachother. And I will most likely have many delightful send offs with my housemates, starting with Eurovision…
So forgive this rambling blog, I think the exam dates have made me all reflective and emotional about how it’s now truly the beginning of the end of my time at Warwick. The final term of the year starts on Monday, and though we’ll only have two weeks of online lectures before face my oral/ translation/ essay exams, I imagine it will go quick!
To all other students facing this upcoming period of exams and deadlines – GOOD LUCK! We got this!