Whenever exam season strikes, school medical centres are suddenly swarming with people. Every day, students crowd the benches outside the nurse’s office (many with their heads still deeply buried in books), anxiously awaiting their turn.
For some, their cold, flu, or other illness is exam-induced. However, many completely healthy beings come with detailed reasons as to why the nurse should let them sleep in the sick room.
I admit that I have been part of the latter group when I was in primary school, keeping my fingers tightly crossed when the nurse takes my temperature, hoping that it would be just high enough to let me avoid an exam. It never worked, of course.
Now I realise that it’s silly to skip an exam, because really, it’s our own loss, not our teachers’ or our parents’. But somehow, the wish I made back in Year Two about being ill during exam season suddenly came true when I caught a stomach bug last month.
Except I don’t want to skip my exams anymore. Plus, living in the medical centre for a whole week was not fun at all.
First, because we are a boarding school, I had to be quarantined – I wasn’t allowed to be in contact with anyone other than the nurse, and so the only things that kept me occupied was my laptop, and well, I guess, revision. But believe me, even binge-watching my favourite TV shows on my laptop got boring after a while. And revision? Let’s not even mention it.
Even though I was in the medical centre, I still had to do the exams, but I did them in bed with the pillow propped up and the script on my lap. Theoretically, being in such a peaceful and calm environment would help someone relax and focus, but for me, it had the complete opposite effect.
Sitting comfortably in my bed, I couldn’t concentrate at all. Maybe it was because I was ill, maybe it was because the medication made me drowsy, or perhaps, it was because I wasn’t in the official examination hall.
Somehow, I missed the adrenaline rush when the examiner announces: “You may start now.” I missed the sounds of frantic scribbling and violent page-flipping towards the end. Ironically, the absolute silence was my greatest distraction.
After spending an entire week in the medical centre, I can safely say that being ill during exam season is not enjoyable at all. So, to all those who have exams coming up soon, please don’t stress, please sleep well, and please stay healthy.