Monday, June 30, 2014

I feel that as students, or at least in my school, we undermine our health a lot - for seemingly "bigger" and more "important" things like grades and commitments and doing good things and co-curricular activities and just really trying to make the most out of the little time we have - 24 hours a day. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, because I have indeed been there and life just seems a lot more meaningful when we pile expectations onto our plate and actually fulfil them - the sense of achievement and pride. 

But then, I can't reiterate this any more but I think young people like us need to slow down and take breaks and by breaks I don't just mean relaxing things but actually really - sleeping. I feel like a lot of us has this mindset that "oh, we're young, man - we still have the drive to push on without sleep!" or things like "sleep is for the weak" but that really isn't true at all. 

Perhaps I'm still bitter and slightly angry at myself for what happened yesterday, on the first day of school, when I was due to sit for two exams in one day - History and Economics. What happened was that I was down with a sore throat on Sunday night, which is really uncomfortable and I was getting increasingly worried but instead of resting early as I should have, I ended up stubbornly staying up late, attempting to save my throat by trying all sorts of quick remedies as I memorized a bit more History to make myself feel a bit more secure because the facts didn't seem to come to my head as quickly as I would have liked. I was even awakened by my throat at 4AM. 

The next day (i.e. yesterday), when I woke up, I knew I was in for something terrible. My throat hadn't really gotten better overnight - in fact it might have gotten worse - and the pain was just making me feel all around terrible. During History, I was really trying my best to put aside all the discomfort I was feeling to focus on my paper. To add to everything, I had forgotten to bring tissues into the exam hall and I had coughed out this huge chunk of phlegm but I had to swallow it down (sorry for the graphic description - I just thought I'd share), which was a terrible experience. The air con didn't help at all - I was uncomfortable and cold and that's just nasty. I'm honestly just really thankful I managed to finish both essays in time.

We had three hours in between History and the next paper - Economics - so I headed to the library to study with Sarah and I was just a nuisance in the library, blowing my nose like crazy and by that time, my head was throbbing really badly. By that time, it was too late to head home to rest or anything and I just told myself to get Economics over and done with, since History and Economics were by far the two subjects I studied the most for - especially History. 

During my Economics paper, I was just this ball of discomfort - I felt an impending fever because I was really nauseous and giddy, my throat was not helping and my nose was just leaking. I blew my nose throughout the paper (really sorry to those sitting around me) and I used up all my tissues and even had to reuse them - it was insane. I could barely concentrate on my paper, but I did manage to finish it as well, though I'm pretty sure I performed a lot worst than I would have if I was physically well. 

As I headed home, I just felt horrible all around, and started blaming myself and my body for being sick on such a crucial day. It's kind of ironic that in my previous post, I mentioned that I can be sure that I won't regret anything because I've actually studied this time round - wow, I guess fate just wouldn't let me go through academic examinations feeling good about myself - I haven't for a long time, and I initially thought I would. 

I ended up vomiting a lot the moment I got home and I had to rest through the entire night. I'm thankful that I get a day's break in between before I sit for my Literature paper tomorrow but the bottom line is: it's important to take care of one's health while aiming to achieve things, be it academics or other commitments. I wouldn't want anyone else to go through what I just have, because it's horrible and I think this is the first time I've been sick during any exam, and I'll make sure that it's my last time :-) 

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