Throwback Exams

As I was getting ready yesterday for my last exam of the MSc. Genetic Counselling, I laughed as I remembered my last exams in secondary school.

My course mates told me that they rarely had exams until their GCSE’s. We had exams every year and there was a lot of pressure to do well. I am happy for that now. The GCSE’s were hard enough, but if I had not been accustomed to an exam environment I fear the pressure and anxiety would have been triple-fold.

May and June in Malta are, for the most part, pretty hot. This is why Maltese students have a relatively long Summer break. Towards the end of the year, the classrooms are saunas and break time is conspicuous by the hardly moving bodies in the shade of the school yard. Exam time therefore was often a sweaty mess – quite literally.

The last day of exams however always held a certain charm. Woe to the examiner who had the fate of dealing out the last exam ever for I doubt answers were legible for the most part. They were often clever enough to put something simple like Religious Studies at the end but I will never forget when the last paper was Maths II!

On the last day, students would be noticeable by bright coloured strands hanging from halter bikinis, and a certain impatient tap tapping by the side of the desk. After the exam we would run down the stairs of the school, run down the street to the pastizzeria, grab a couple of cheesecakes and run into a bus. The destination was either the beach, or Valletta. Valletta being closer became more of a choice, especially as girls had boy counterparts waiting for them in the Barakka Gardens with ice cream.

O zmien Helu, fejn mort?!

(Oh sweet times, where have you gone?)

It was not to be the same clothes choice this year, for May in the UK is pretty much like February in Malta. Although we were lucky to have some sunshine as we sipped on pitchers of Pimms, played pool and discussed the Summer. We reminisced on the first few weeks of this new course, feeling how it would never end, yet here we are, on the edge. We were quick to remind ourselves it was not over.

A Dissertation Summer couldn’t sound more thrilling. But, hey, bring it on!


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