Exams are two thirds of the way through for me now. Just the one paper left on friday. So far they seem to be going okay... I really need to get started on some study for it but since my exam this morning i haven't really had much motivation (not much of a surprise there huh). So instead, i've been amusing myself catching up on blog reading and email, and while i was doing that something sort of hit me - but i don't really know how to put it into words.
It's sort of like waking up a bit from a hazy dream... only to find things still kind of hazy in real life. Okay maybe i'll just stop trying to describe it and just ramble on about it ^^ (yep, that's right u guys get to read one of my rare 'thinking' posts hehe)
I just found out a friend i met in Japan has left for home a bit earlier than expected - which i guess is the beginning of the end (again) of my exchange. Japan without my exchange friends - and without a lot of my Japanese friends as well who've since graduated and are now busy in their new lives as 新入社員 (new employees) - will be a very different Japan indeed. In my short time over there, everybody else seemed to be staying on for what (at the time) seemed like an eternity longer than i was. But time has flown by as always and now its June and most of the '04-'05 exchangees are starting to think of heading back home. I think the Japan i have in my head is sort of a Japan frozen back in the time i was on exchange. And on my trip at the end of the month i was really looking forward to having the chance to revisit that dream. But today i realised that when i get back there things are probably going to be different: places will have changed; people will be different and perhaps just as significantly, i'm going to be different too.
And then reading various blogs kept by various peoples another realisation dawned on me in a similar kind of way. The middle of exam period for me has always been, not quite enjoyable, but at least not an overly unpleasant time. It's a time when i get to look at what i'm meant to have learnt in the last 12 weeks of class and actually sit down and learn some of it - without distractions of lectures to attend, and having ppl around all the time. And having an exam at the end is sort of like a challenge for myself to actually learn the stuff i'm meant to know and have something to show for it. But i think i probably take it for granted that i don't suffer from the level of stress that seems to hit a lot of people around now.
Even though probably 90% of the conversations i have with ppl from uni around now all revolve around exams and how stressed everyone is, somehow it usually never really sinks into me that people are actually feeling quite overcome by all the pressure. Maybe i'm just not very good at being empathetic but somehow it only just hit me that it really is a rather unpleasant experience to feel that there's an insurmountable barrier in front of you that no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to see a way around. Actually thinking of it now, probably one of the ppl i talk to most (my lil sis) tends to feel the pressure like that too.. Maybe it was just being in an exam today and talking to ppl afterwards that the sense of the moment finally impressed itself on me.
Anyway, all this sort of made me think a bit more. And as thinking tends to do, it leads to more thinking. It's not so much that i discovered anything incredibly ground-shaking today, but more that i discovered something about myself. I tend to be quite critical of a lot of things when i see them and often probably don't pay things full credit - even when they deserve it. And i do that even though i'm aware that i do it (more to myself in my head than outloud) . But what was interesting today, was that i realised that perhaps more than being critical, the reason why i don't think much of a lot of things might be because i'm only seeing half the picture. The things i realised today made me think that maybe i'm living more in my own conception of the world than i'd care to admit. So if any of you do notice me doing that, please feel free give me a whack on the head and show me ^^
Oh and for those of you still struggling with your last couple of exams, good luck, and keep studying hard even if it seems like you'll never get there - because like a lot of things, you'll find that it's not until all the other parts are in place that the whole thing seems to fall together. I've done a couple of exams where it wasn't until i was IN the exam answering the question that i suddenly realised i understood. So don't despair, just put in what you can and give it your best shot. Things tend to work themselves out in the end ...
Enough from my haughty-advice-giving self for now. Till then.