It’s that time of year again, and you’ve already drank far too many cups of coffee, changed your Facebook status to “it’s complicated” with “Joseph S. Stauffer,” and have basically been on the verge of a stress-induced breakdown since classes ended. It’s exam time, and man, it can be a real pain in the neck (seriously, I can’t even identify where my neck is anymore from sitting at a computer all day). Having endured many-a grueling exam season, I have been imparted with the knowledge that there exists only one brave soul who can save us poor students from suffering utter misery. One man who knows how to empower a girl through telling her that she’s good and she knows it (by ‘good’ I mean intelligent and by ‘it’ I mean the exam material) and who can truly communicate the wisdom of enjoying life’s experiences through a simple four-letter acronym. Fellow students, I encourage you to behold our beautiful sweater-clad saviour: Aubrey ‘Drake’ Graham.
Okay, so you may have yet to be convinced of Drake’s study-saving abilities by my melodramatic prose and fan-girl caliber obsessive behaviour (or should I say… “Worst Behaviour”) but hopefully by the end of this article, I’ll have somewhat persuaded you of the value of listening to Drake during exam season. Forget that “indie + chill + sleep + study” snoozer you just found on 8tracks because lawd knows (“Take Care” reference intended) your routine could use some shaking up, or Drake-ing up for that matter*.
*I’ve officially crossed the line with that last attempt at a joke, but stay with me as I proceed with my ramblings.
From his appearance as the character now-affectionately-known-as “Wheelchair Jimmy” on teen soap opera Degrassi: The Next Generation, to his most recent album Nothing Was the Same, it is evident that Drake’s lyricism has matured to become arguably more revealing of his past emotions than his previous albums and as a consequence, he has become more relatable to listeners than ever before. Drake’s of-the-moment ethos and lyrical accessibility should convince even those rap-phobic listeners to give him a chance. However, I must face the harsh reality that this is unfortunately not the case. Although not liking rap or hip-hop music is pretty much a deal-breaker for me in the friendship/relationship department, I still keep dear a few lost chums who have yet to find it in their aural faculties to appreciate it. I’ve prepared a comprehensive list to help out both the lovers and the haters during this treacherous exam time with a few study tips off NWTS from my boy Drizzy.
“Came up, that’s all me, stay true, that’s all me / No help, that’s all me, all me for real.”
Although it’s always great to get external help with studying when necessary, take Drake’s advice that ultimately, it’s going to be all you and only you during your exam. Get help and give help to others during study time, but be smart about it and make sure that when it comes down to the wire, you know your sh*t. This also applies to essay writing during the exam period. Make sure all your citations are accurate and that whoever will be marking your paper is clear on which ideas you’ve appropriated from scholars and which ideas are your own thoughts.
“I should let you know I’m coming back on my worst behavior.”
Going home for a short break between exams? Don’t let the feeling of being home convince you that you’re already on holiday. Get real: you’ve still got some studying to do. Power through that mini-break from Kingston and come back to Queen’s on your “worst behaviour”: a phrase that I am interpreting as your most badass and efficient exam mode.
“Started from the bottom now we’re here.”
Try not to let yourself get dragged down by the monotonous feeling that you will be studying for exams FOREVER. Rhetorically speaking, you started from the “bottom” (the beginning of the year) and now you’re here: studying for exams. The winter holidays are just within reach and seriously, how could it get any worse when, relative to the beginning of the semester, you don’t have that much work left to do? You’ve made it this far, and you can definitely make it until the end!
“You don’t have to prove shit to no one except yourself.”
In relation to the first pearl of hip-hop wisdom I discussed, not only is it “all you” during the exam season, but by the end of exam time, all that really matters is that you did your personal best. Try not to let your competitive side get the best of you and go into each exam with the idea that you will do the best that you can do, rather than comparing yourself to your classmates.
“Just hold on, we’re going home.”
You’re almost done for the semester! Try to maintain your sanity for a few more days because you will be home and relaxing in no time, and this exam period will seem like a distant and caffeinated nightmare.
As for myself, I’ve already finished exams, but as our subject of interest has duly noted: “same city, same friends if you’re looking for me.” Good luck to everyone still writing exams and I hope that I have at least helped your studying, if I have not coerced you to listen to Drake this exam season.
Emma Hoffman, Editor-in-Chief
Image: We Heart It