Monday, 20 June 2011

Red Carnation

I’m one of the few finalists left who still haven’t finished, but tomorrow it’s finally over! It’s been a fairly awful experience. The last six weeks of my life have been mainly spent in a library, and more recently in exam schools too. I’ve had low revision points where I’ve honestly reacted to not understanding something as if it were the end of the world. Things manage to get a little bit out of proportion when all you’re doing is revising! But I think I’ve survived somehow, none of the exams were catastrophic. So far I think I managed to pull of something vaguely redeeming in each of them so it will hopefully all balance out. I’m going to go all out today and stay up very late revising as it’s the last time I’ll EVER have to do it, so I have nothing to lose. Well, I say that, but I’ll almost definitely lose will power at half 11 and then hit the sack.

I should also add, for the benefit of non-Oxforders, that the red carnation in the title of this post refers to a made up Oxford tradition of wearing carnations to exams. You wear white to your first one, pink to the ones in the middle and red to your last one; resulting in a stream of facebook statuses that read ’[insert colour] carnation’. This carnation gets pinned on to your sub-fusc: the full academic dress that Oxford insists that we wear to exams. So that’s a suit and white bow tie for men and for women, a smart black skirt and white shirt with velvet ribbon in a bow round the collar. To top this off we wear our gowns and mortar boards too. It is honestly the most ridiculous thing to enforce and serves no purpose whatsoever. The last thing I want to worry about before taking a set of really hideous exams is, ‘Where on Earth is that bloody ribbon??’. I suppose the bonus is that once you’re finished it is quite fun to get drunk in a silly outfit, and this time tomorrow that will be me!

Finalist x

Monday, 6 June 2011


I’m currently trying to revise in the library but somebody’s ridiculously loud music is disturbing me. Surely you can’t be working that hard to music that loud and upbeat! And if you actually are, surely you’re not really listening to that music and you’re just annoying me for no reason. Ugh. Definitely one of my pet hates. Many times I’ve found myself thinking, ‘mp3 devices should be banned on public transport’, or, ‘Why aren’t there signs up to warn these people that loud music is not acceptable?!’ It’s so antisocial. At home it’s worse; my brother insists on listening to music in his room the whole time. Most of the music is awful, but even it it’s verging on bearable, it usually has an unnecessary baseline that thuds through the whole house.

Finals now start in less than a week. I’m beginning to get irritable as more and more people finish their exams and I’m still here… However, the thought of it being over does fill me with happiness and I have to remind myself there is still a lot of work to do and it’s not quite time to hurl myself in the Isis in a champagne induced euphoria.

Finalist x