Exam Diary Entry


14:20 - In 10 minutes, I have my second exam for the Spanish Legal System. I got here 30 minutes early because if you don't come on time, no table is left for you and you're stuck writing on a chair with a tiny folding table next to it. That almost happened to me last time, and I didn't want to risk it again.

Around me, everyone is either chatting in Spanish or going through their notes. Trying to stay slightly more concentrated, I attempt the latter. Then I stop. I've always learned not to study so shortly before an exam if you don't want to blackout during, and I just have to trust myself at this point and not get overwhelmed with studying articles, etc. I think. We'll see.

People around me have such organised and pretty notes - I'm incredibly impressed. But I heard that law is incredibly competitive here at Universidad Carlos III Madrid, something I can only affirm from what I've seen. One friend from another course even told me the story of her friend sending out altered, wrong notes to people who asked her for hers, just to see them fall short. That's crazy.

I realize I can see the tree under which I studied for this exam yesterday from the window next to which I am sitting. That makes me feel better. The exam was supposed to start 3 minutes ago but the teacher isn't here yet. I don't know what else to write about - I already talked about the tree. I guess I shall turn to WhatsApp and Instagram now - maybe some mindless scrolling will do the trick. And a sip of water.

14:38 - I'm back, 5 minutes later. Teacher still not here, Instagram didn't do the trick. The sip of water did, but I'm afraid that if I'll drink more I'll have to pee. Wouldn't want that in the middle of an exam.

Around me, people are talking louder and louder, or maybe that's just my perception of things. I'm still overwhelmed by the degree of professionalism of the other student's notes. Makes my little pink notebook filled with hand-written notes look amateur. Also, I'm amazed by the gadgets surrounding me – I-pads in every corner, portable keyboards, chargers for all different kinds of things.

14:50 - Teacher is here. I also spotted someone reading a book, which is refreshing. Now, everyone is quiet. I must go.

16:10 - In the train, post-exam update: went well. I knew the answers and didn't even have to glance at the tree for a miracle. I guess a little pink notebook can still compete with its Gen Z alternatives. And a little trust in yourself can truly go a long way.

Jesler van Houdt

Exam Diary Entry
nieuwe foto Jesler.jpeg