Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
October 28, 2021

Great exam motivation from your unborn self

By SOPHIA GAUTHIER | December 6, 2012

“Please. I’ve had this memorized since I was a fetus.”

Well, you can’t get more legit than that. This, my friends, is the type of hyperbolic pride with which you should attack your remaining exams. Two weeks ago, I wrote a column about being lazy. But with finals season approaching, we all know that we cannot afford the languid dreamtime. So here I offer up a tad bit of get-r-done motivation and some luck on your last couple of weeks.

First off, let’s start with a little perspective. Final exams create more stress than rabbits produce little rabbits. But imagine how much worse it could be! There are many cortisol-inducing situations that I pray you never find yourself in. For instance, imagine how stressful it must’ve been to be Harry Potter. He had to juggle taking finals, destroying horcruxes, and remaining a New York Times Best Seller. Or what about Frodo, charged with the preservation of Middle Earth! (Yes, I just made a Lord of the Rings reference.) Or (more realistically), Obama! We’re all busy bubbling scantrons while these three occupy themselves by casually asserting influence over the future course of their (respective) worlds.

Perhaps it is some condolence that you do not have to do what they do. You do not have to save the world. You are also not acting secretary for the Taliban. I hope you never have to complete three Experimetrix tasks in rapid succession. Or memorize the alto line of “Change in my Life” as a fetus. And let’s face it. It’s not easy being a fetus. It’s a weird time and you’ve got a lot of standards to live up to. For starters, you’ve got to develop a whole bunch of body parts without any proper hands or eyes. And you have to do so while underwater. In a dark sack. In somebody’s body. That’s pretty darn stressful. And consider it this way. You’ve already done all that. I could venture to say that you are a rather over-qualified exam-taking candidate.

I know how difficult it is to reread the same material over and over again.  Heck, you’re probably tired of reading this column. Here, I shall insert a study break:

[study break]

Also, before you continue reading about how well you are going to beast your exams (you are going to squash all of the essay prompts that are foolish enough to face you like you squashed potatoes and butter for Thanksgiving dinner), I’d like to offer up a fun fact about sharks, fetus’, and stress. Did you know that some shark fetus’ (although I’m not sure if they are still considered fetus’ at this point) eat each other in the womb?! Survivor gets to be born. Talk about stress!!

You have never been charged with eating your unborn siblings. You have never been responsible for destroying one seventh of a wizard’s soul. So come time when you are fretting and sweating in the fluorescent lights of exam-dom, and they ask you to regurgitate last week’s lecture, just proudly remind yourself: You were once a fetus. And you’ve damned well got this memorized.

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