Jenny Bathurst - "So to anyone else who may be in exam season: If you’re unmotivated – same"

Sussex student Jenny Bathurst chronicled Covid week by week. Now she returns to share thoughts, fears and hopes.

Jenny Bathurst

Jenny is studying journalism at the University of Brighton.

"It would probably be an understatement to suggest that deadlines are tolerable. If tolerable means stressful, taxing and yet you still don’t find the motivation to get anything done, then yes, they’re tolerable, but I would liken it more to pulling teeth. In fact I don’t really have an excuse to find myself so stressed about exam season as many of mine are being pushed to next year, my third year at university, due to health problems. But here I am with an embarrassingly low number of deadlines and still lacking motivation to the highest degree. There’s something about knowing you HAVE to do something, isn’t there.

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"It's like tidying my room. Some days I’ll wake up and think: ‘Today’s the day. I’m going to sort out all my clothes, clean and tidy every corner of my bedroom and pack up lots of stuff to take to the charity shop.’ Then all that needs to happen is for mum to poke her head round the door and ask if I’m going to do any cleaning or sorting and suddenly it’s the last thing I want to do. She’s never quite understood why this is, but for some reason as soon as I know it’s something that’s expected of me the idea just seems dull and demanding. And I suppose it’s the same with university projects and exams. It’s silly really because we pay (in my opinion) extremely high prices to study something we are more passionate about than anything else, only to then long to do anything but.

"I understand that it’s the deadlines and stress that causes us to loathe this exam season and not the subject itself, but I find it quite humorous that students go from ‘THIS STUPID DISSERTATION, I NEVER WANT TO LOOK AT *INSERT SUBJECT HERE* EVER AGAIN’ to sitting with a potential employer the next month gushing about how invested and passionate you are about your field.

"My university subject is journalism, and I would be lying if I said that there hadn’t been one or two moments where I never wanted to write another word again. I’m realising now that I probably shouldn’t have written that in my column. But these moments are temporary, for then you hear of someone who is living your dream career or you have a lesson about the area of your topic you are most interested in and suddenly you remember why you submitted that UCAS application in the first place.

"So to anyone else who may be in exam season: If you’re unmotivated – same. But if you’re keeping your eye on the end goal and remaining calm – please teach me how before I click ‘Withdraw’ on Brighton’s ‘Leaving University’ page.

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