Numbers are beautiful, as is knowledge. The accumulation of information and experimentation expressed through the model of mathematics has converged into machines and ideas that can elate, arouse, astound and inspire. I fully believe that this concept is at the heart of why Imperial students go through what we do to get that treasured degree. Of course, everyone at university works hard to get a qualification, and subsequently a good job, money, a family, etc. But at Imperial, I consider all of us to be geeks. We all strive for the lifestyle, but are set apart by the extra exertion we put in, because ultimately: we love what we are doing, rather than just why we are doing it.
As fun as it was ranting on my blog to relieve the strains and stresses of exams, there are plenty of other things I like to do to have a quick detox, and this post is all about that.
The most effective means of relaxation during exams season is walking. Rather than just a short decrease in brain utilisation, a complete change of scenery, accompanied by sunlight and fresh air is always welcome. One downside is that it’s the method that requires the most effort, as you cover up the shoddy, un-groomed appearance you would usually be sporting during your work. However, I find it is a great way to completely distract oneself from anything troubling, even if you are the kind of person who has the thought of exams tattooed across their face around this time.
A big bonus for me is any distraction that requires minimal lower limb movement. I’m not the hardcore gamer that I used to be, or ever was for that matter, but I do get a considerable amount of pleasure from mini-games. Previously, it would be a good half hour playing 8-Ball Pool on Miniclip or Stick Cricket, but thanks to the love of my life my iPhone, that has branched out into Infinity Blade, Fruit Ninja and Tiny Wings. I have a mathematical brain, and am a big fan of immediate, quantifiable success. Exams and revision are difficult, and don’t feel adequately rewarding till the emotions of struggle and determination have dulled. Having 300 game centre achievement, some of which you have to work incredibly hard for is instant and does feel rewarding. While not as impressive as a degree from Imperial, being level 100 on infinity blade is certainly a road I’ve enjoyed battling through and would happily boast about
This extends my search for immediate rewards when my brain refuses to churn it’s way through past papers. During my time as a student trying not to learn, I’ve managed to accumulate skills like juggling, pen-flicking and rubix cube solving. Were I to take a subject like medicine, which requires around 40% more time hitting the books than I currently do, I’d probably be completely proficient in the unicycle, harmonica and slight-of-hand magic. While doing these quirky things is much more of a time-investment than mini games, having a tangible item to play around with feels better (and oddly, more real), and moving muscles besides those in your writing hand is always a good thing.
Probably my favourite break from revision is when I cook. Cooking is definitely optional at this time – you saves around 30 mins by just buying an oven pizza, without really compromising on finances and taste. However, I always have enjoyed cooking, and the reward one gets from that can’t really be beaten. Everything taste better home-made, even my bizarre “rice plus meat plus bacon” dishes, which I tend to specialise in. Recently, my cooking attempts have turned to chocolate recipes and, as you can imagine, my housemates have been rather thrilled with this transition. Gone on a bit of a hiatus during exams as they do require a little more time than I can fully justify, but after Monday, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to get myself closer to diabetes.
So tell me, how do you like to break away from revision?
Thanks for reading,