(This also applies to those who’re planning to join campus. And those who’re still in school. Don’t limit yourself unnecessarily, kids.)
First of all, breathe. Roll a joint if you need to. Just chill the fuckk out for a second.
Okay, first things first. You’re young. You’ve still got your whole life ahead of you. So again, re-fuckking-lax.
Now, I know that your parents, your teachers, and general well-wishers have been putting a lot of pressure on you lately. These exams, to an uncertain extent, are going to shape your future. But I’ll tell you now – they’re no way near as important as you think they are.
You’ve been sold a lie.
Here’s something you’ll learn when you get out of high school:
EVERYONE THINKS THEY KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU.
Not just yout teachers, not just your parents, not just your uptight older brother John, but everyone. Society. The Government. Your nosy next-door neighbour. The dude you’ll meet at a bar. Everyone and everything will have an opinion on what is best for you. Fuckk 'em. Let them think what they wanna think.
Getting straight A’s isn’t going to guarantee your success, and not getting straight A’s is not going to guarantee your failure either. All that shit’s relative. Working 8 - 5, for thirty years, in a job you hate, just because it pays well and has room for progression, isn’t success. Working 9 - 7, for all your life, in a job you absolutely love, for minimum wage, isn’t failure.
You’re still, what? 18? 19, maybe? You probably don’t even know what you like yet. You might think you know, there’s a chance you might actually know, but you probably don’t. That’s what life is for. To figure this shit out.
Getting better marks doesn’t necessarily open more doors, either. Think about it like this. Rich people tend to (stereotypically) but expensive alcohol. Poor people buy cheap alcohol. Sure, rich people can buy cheap alcohol too. But they usually don’t. Why? Because they don’t have to, they can buy the good shit.
Is the good shit necessarily better than the cheap shit? No – it’s not. Usually, taste doesn’t accurately reflect cost. But that’s the thing: if you get good marks, you might feel inclined to make the most of them. Instead of studying physics, maybe you’ll decide to do medicine. Instead of studying fashion design, like you always wanted, you’ll decide instead on law, cause, hey, why the fuckk not, you got the mark for it, the door’s now open, make the most of it – hey?
There are millions of doors open to you. The key isn’t opening as many as possible, right now, immediately – settle the fuckk down. The key lies in finding the doors you’d actually want to walk through. In creating a track you can actually be bothered strolling down. That’s the tough part.
Having an education is only important through a social lens. It’s not going to make you a better person. What’s going to make you a better person is learning. Submitting to your curiosities. Taking chances. A willingness to stand up for what you want – for what you believe in – and heading in your own direction.
It’s your life. Fuckk what other people want from you. That might sound selfish. It probably is. But fuckk it. Again, it’s your life. Live, and let live. Bounce to the beat of your own drum.
But hey, well you’ve got the chance; you might as well study hard. But don’t study because you feel you have to. Don’t study to impress your dad or your mum, or because you need to get into Engineering 101. Study because studying is cool. Learning shit is cool. Usually it’s the shit not on the syllabus that’s the coolest. Study that shit.
Your teachers might encourage you otherwise. They’ll say shit like: This is important. Learn this. Memorise that.
Take what they say on board, and then throw it over the deck if it doesn’t fit your ship’s style. Studying actually is fun if you are doing it for yourself. If you’re doing it to learn something new, to expand your mind in depth and breadth, it can be cool.
And if studying is not really your thing, and you know that for sure, which you certainly don’t, then do something different. Dance. Sing. Draw. Make shit with other shit, like bricks and wood and wires. Run. Float. Fly. Whatever. It’s your life – remember?
Ultimately, again, the key to dealing with exams is chilling the fuckk out.
But more importantly, if you form this pattern now – work, stress, exams, work, stress, exams – it’ll haunt you forever.
Learn, right now, to take life lightly. Nothing’s really that important. No – not even exams. Nothing. Living is what’s important. Screw exams. Fulfillment isn’t measured on paper. Social success won’t fulfil you. That shit’s empty.
Appreciate the small things, and the exams – the ends of your life – won’t matter so much. Instead they’ll turn into beginnings. And from there, you can…