With every page of my diary currently consumed by lists of topics to cover, from the mathematics of social network dynamics (unfortunately not an excuse to go on Facebook for revision, though I’ve tried to justify it!) to the operations of biometric sensors, there’s a lot of material for me to get through if I’m to be ready in time for next week’s exams.
Then there’s exam technique to practice, including making sure to figure out in advance as many question timings in possible, and hand-write as many summary notes sheets as physically possible. After a year of Computer Science, it’s almost a strange phenomenon using a pen at speed once again!
But having been in a similar situation so often before over the past seven-or-so examinable years, I feel more determined than ever to get through the usual tests and rigours of the summer exam period.
This is my last chance to potentially make the difference in terms of accumulating marks towards my degree, and indeed academic career as a whole, so it’s crucial that I do my best – particularly as I’ll have finished with the whole thing in the next seven days!
It’s never easy, particularly when, at this time of year, the weather decides to be at its best, almost as if it’s just to increase your resentment towards the whole situation! But I happily shut myself away from my housemates (most of whom have now finished for good!) safe in the knowledge that the few weeks afterwards are going to be terrific. Featuring Balls, meals, picnics, road trips, the annual 24 Hour Musical show (where an entire show is learned and performed in that time period for charity!) and much, much more, many memorable occasions are on the horizon and I can’t wait!
Every student needs a release of energy from time to time, however, and during exam period, mine has been preparing to direct one of the University’s entrants into the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year, the (hopefully spectacular!) musical Dogfight. As this is the first time I’ve been involved in directing and producing a show on tour, it’s been a great learning experience in many ways as I attend meetings, prepare marketing materials and publicity strategies, write press releases, and attempt to plan for all the logistics incurred by bringing a show on the road – and there are plenty!
As this is a significant responsibility, and one which requires being a team player to make sure all’s sorted, I’m delighted to be backed up by the Students’ Union and Performing Arts societies in my efforts. This is a great scheme common across most Student Groups, as I’ve been leant a brilliant opportunity in a form of large-scale project management. I am working alongside an incredibly efficient and imaginative team, while simultaneously receiving constant support and advice from the Union and elsewhere in case a safety net is required, allowing me to learn and pick up skills on the job without fear of adverse consequences. So far, so good!
One of the most crucial aspects of taking a show on tour is the fundraising element. We ask all our members to pay for large chunks of the expenses involved in performing on the world-renowned and incredibly exciting stage of the Edinburgh Fringe, but we still have venue, transport, accommodation and many more costs to consider when taking the show on tour. So we seek out as much funding before we go as we can - any donations we can get towards the cause are hugely appreciated!
This year, fundraising has manifested itself in many ways, with upcoming events including sports tournaments, radio challenge broadcasts (I’ve been promised the challenges will be very entertaining – for everyone not involved in the show, that is!), film screenings and one-off performances to mention but a few. However, the most prolific of our events so far have been our sales of refreshments at one another’s performances and out and about around the Students’ Union, including the classic cake sales – a great excuse for us to attempt (and usually fail) at baking as a temporary distraction from revision!
As part of our last cake sale, we held an entirely improvised online cake auction, which proved surprisingly popular!
So if you see one of us around the University's Highfield Campus Concourse in the next week or so, please do come across, have a chat and, if you’re hungry, buy a cake – your support would be hugely appreciated by many of us! Or, if you’d rather, feel free to tell me to get my head back down in the books as soon as possible. With only a few days left, it’s time to make things count!