I am not without my battle scars

As I run terrified into the final week of Block 1A lectures have almost died off and I’m hoping that I can keep ahead of the demon coming to attack. I’ve fought this old beast many times before and while I have often found a way to defeat it, I am not without my battle scars. I speak of course of the old enemy common to so many of us, its name is exams.

This shapeshifting beast takes many forms: sit-down exams, assignments, essays, interviews… and despite the horror of these spectacles you mustn’t let your attention slip or it may change its form and launch a sneak attack from right under your very nose! Research and attention are the keys to finding the beasts true form and to gain knowledge of how it can be overcome.

Last year, I naively believed I was safe from this spook. As lockdown took full effect, I thought that I must surely be safe from the arrival of the beast. But it knew that nothing would draw me from the safety of my home and so it joined Slenderman and became a beast of the internet. It found me through a demonic portal called Nestor, reaching into my reality like Freddy Kreuger in a nightmare.

Don’t let the modern facade of the Blauwborgje 4 lull you into a false sense of security.

Now, like the pied piper, it calls us to the new exam halls in Zernike, but don’t let the modern facade of the Blauwborgje 4 lull you into a false sense of security. Beneath that modernity lies a monster older than Nosferatu, perhaps even older than time itself… I can’t truly say with confidence how old it is; much like I can’t answer many of the other questions it is about to bring.

How might we escape this cruel fate? Well like so many classic horrors the answer is not to charge into battle with a deadly weapon, that’s a sure-fire way to a grisly doom. Instead, we must plan ahead and heed the wise warnings of those who know the beast. In a classic horror it might be the owner of the last petrol station on the way out of town; in this film they’re called lecturers. Spooky.

Those who escape the beast are those who plan ahead, those who study its many forms and prepare for its attacks. Heed the warnings of those who know the beast and plan ahead if you want to survive. Bring a pen.

Oh, and switch off your phone.

NIALL TORRIS

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