They’re coming. You can feel it in the air, a moment of stillness before all hell breaks loose and Voldemort pops in for a cuppa. At universities across the UK, night club staff blink in the gloomy silence. It’s time, people: once again you will be put to the test, dripping in red bull and desperation. It's exam season.
Those few terrible weeks when the British weather will decide to be glorious, while you cram for your degree alongside that one guy who always brings a ripe tuna sandwich to the library. As each day limps past, students seem to undergo a startling transformation, morphing into highlighting fiends. Look into your heart and ask yourself honestly - which of these stereotypes are you?
If you fit into this category, hang your head in shame (while simultaneously bragging about it). Nobody likes a bragger, yet you can bet there will be at least one of them directly within your earshot at any given time. They will inform you of how well their revision is going at 10-minute intervals. They will sidle over to your little corner of hell, nod sympathetically as you explain your struggle, and then break into a rapturous monologue on how they are just ‘so ready’ for this exam.
They will update their Facebook status with precise, enthusiastic sentences, informing on readers exactly what they have revised and for how long. So what if you did an hour of equations? They revised the exact same thing for five hours, and they don’t even take maths.
Once their exam is over, they will bound outside like a mountain goat, running to catch up with you. How did you answer question two? However you did, it will be wrong. You are doomed, because the bragger will have answered completely differently. They will then make a loud phone call to their parents, just in case anyone missed how well they did the first time.
You will turn to the liar in a bid to reassure yourself. However little revision you may have done, the liar will have done less. The liar will develop a serious case of fake CBA syndrome, and will drop statements such as “yeah, like, done nothing, like, seriously”, all casual-like. Come results day, however, they will casually admit to their first, and saunter off for a beer.
For in fact, the liar will have studied extremely hard. They will have revised in secret, shuffling their revision cards with glee.
If, on the other hand, you actually are an honest person who really doesn't try in exams but does exceedingly well, excuse me while I’m sick on your shoes.
The worrier will inflict their nervous, jabbering anxiety upon everyone they meet, bombarding you with incessant questions. What have you revised, how much exactly, when did you start? They will squeak in alarm as they discover that the exam is tomorrow, even if they aren't doing the same subject.
Nothing is safe from the worrier’s bulging eyes, as they rifle through your notes, intoning “I’m just so worried, are you not worried, I’m really worried”.
The worrier will go on to do perfectly well: “I don’t know what I even was worrying about.”
The Sharpie lover
Now we all love to hate the Sharpie lover, yet we secretly admire them for their hardcore attitude. The Sharpie lover will revise alone and silently, with their lunch prepared in a tupperware box. Their notes will be neatly written, colour-coded, and woe betide you if you dare interfere with their filing system. They know the answer to every question, and nothing will perturb them in the quest to succeed. Stoic and silent in their approach, they will doublecheck their answers and never, ever forget their stationary.
Now, every student adds a pinch of procrastination to the mundane tasks of life. The Internet has enabled us to dapple in pointless moments of hilarity, especially if cat videos are involved. A chimpanzee riding on a segway? You know exactly what I mean.
There is a difference between a cheeky Tweet and full-on YouTube addiction though. A hardcore procrastinator will pride themselves on their ability to waste time in the run up to exams. Have you spent a whole day cleaning your room, and that includes pairing up all your socks? Or maybe you’ve indulged in an iPlayer marathon, then baked a questionable cake. Whichever ridiculous task you’ve taken upon yourself, it won’t be something that urgently needs doing.
A true procrastinator is able to lure people into their aimless musings, and before you know it you’ve watched three seasons of House and your highlighters have dried up. It’s not that procrastinators don’t care about exams; they may even embark on a crazed final-hour revision session, especially if it means doing a revision time table with their new set of pens, with fancy headings, some stickers and a few doodles. It'll make them revise more, honest.
There’s a difference between the workaholic and the Sharpie lover, a carefully drawn line of rationale. The latter will schedule loo breaks, but the former will curse their bladder as they hold it in until they look like an spasming penguin.
The workaholic revises all hours of the day, desk light glowing in the middle of the night. Do not approach under any circumstance, unless you enjoy seeing a person unravel. They may occasionally offer a spray of spit as they explain their task, before telling you to go away in the rudest of terms. Their notes are chaotic and crumpled, and their diet consists of coffee and chewy sweets to angrily gnash.
The workaholic is to be pitied as they arrive for the exam a nervous wreck with bowel issues.
And if you do not fit into any of these categories, excuse me while I make up another irritating but probably true stereotype.
Ellie House is a third year English Literature student at Lancaster university. Follow her on Twitter here.