As the new academic year is around the corner, some of us are busy preparing for entrance exams. Exam jitters are quite overwhelming, especially when you are inside an exam hall waiting for the invigilator. However certain observations and tropes can provide us with some comic relief from anxiety. If you are a keen observer, you might have come across these types of students in an exam hall. Let’s see if these types of students have evolved to adapt to the ‘new normal’.
The pandemic affected all of us in million little ways. However, for these people, it must have felt like they lost a part of themselves. They would probably be the first ones to arrive at the exam centre and can be found sitting with a laidback attitude. As they make friends with other candidates, they are reminiscing times when they were enjoying life to the lees, making connections with people without social distancing. Though they can be a bit nosy, let’s all agree to the fact they help tone down the stressful atmosphere to an extent.
The Hot Topic
Yes, exams definitely put you on a hot seat but for this person, it’s quite literal as they are the “talk of the hall”. Doesn’t ring a bell? Well, let us explain. This is that person whose parents created a huge scene outside the exam hall pointing out how the institution wasn’t following Covid protocols. While the rest of us admire their parent, this person tries to escape the public gaze out of embarrassment.
The Bespectacled Warrior
These ‘misérables’ are the ones who adjust their glasses and masks so their vision isn’t foggy. Half of the allotted time is wasted in an attempt to have a less foggy vision of the question paper. Adjusting the nose bridge of the mask, breathing slowly in a downward motion and holding their breath are some of the stunts that they perform. Once they are out of the exam hall, don’t ever ask them why they look like they fought a battle.
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The Staycation Addict
The easiest way to spot them is to look for those with a relaxed, casual posture with their not-so-neatly worn mask. It’s quite difficult to strike a conversation with them as they are thinking about their last staycation. They are probably here for the free sanitisers and water bottles that the exam invigilator provides. They might look like they are sourcing all their focus into the paper but mentally, they are dancing to ‘stay’ on a hilltop
The Updated Padippi
Long gone are the times when padippis are focused on writing everything they know with utmost concentration. Now, you can find them worrying about getting Covid from fellow students and making sure they follow Covid protocol. Their excessive concern, though frustrating at times, makes them the Covid warriors of the exam hall. The entire exam hall ends up admiring how they disinfect their hands every fifteen minutes. And all the while, they are probably thinking to themselves, “ariv oru shaapam ano ?”
The Geared Up One
You might have that one person in your circle of friends who comes to the exam equipped with all kinds of stationery. Now, they have evolved from being a duty-free shop to being a mobile clinic. From double-layered masks to fragranced sanitisers and gloves, they are all geared up for the exam. ‘Less is more’ is never an option for them. However, we all should be grateful to them for bringing supplies.
Always Been Quarantining
These are those people who have been quarantining forever. Though a common trope, their presence is hardly felt. One can spot them in the nooks and corners of the classroom preferably near the window. Adding to their constant feeling to disappear, masks provide a source of consolation for them.
Pre-exam jitters can be overwhelming for most of us. In case you can’t relate to this, you are either too old to remember it or you are a ‘know-it-all’. But these observations will definitely help you take a break from examination anxiety. So look out for these types of students the next time you write an exam (obviously an offline one 😛 ).