Resource is following a year in the life of Wietske and Marit, two first year students of Nutrition and Health. In this episode: exams.
Marit arrives in the Forum almost an hour before the start of her exam. She looks tense. 'I got my driving license last week', she announced proudly. She laughs. 'The lesson before that went so badly. If I was told to turn left I went right, that sort of thing. I had absolutely no confidence in my chances of passing the test. When the examiner started going over it, I was sure I had failed. He told me I should have stepped on the gas a bit more at times, but it seems that wasn't a reason to fail me. Oh fantastic, nothing can spoil my exam week any more after that', she says - before she has sat a single exam.
Marit spent most of the week before exams at home, especially for her driving test. Wietske too decided to abandon her student room for the preparation week before exams. 'I already see so little of my friends at home.' Not that studying at home was a great success. 'My parents were on holiday. I was totally alone and I was bored stiff. Then I looked through all those tedious books and decided to call my friends.' And that's now Wietske ended up swapping her course books and mock exams for a super-scary horror film. 'After we had watched it we were really petrified. I live in a fairly isolated house and suddenly every little noise had new significance. In the end we all withdrew to a bedroom. I even locked the door.' In retrospect Wietske wishes she had spent more time studying. 'But oh well, doing nothing but cramming doesn't work either. I need a bit of fun and company. Maybe next time I will stay in Wageningen. I was planning to come back very early on Monday but then my sister came home and she was staying on to study, so I did too. So it is possible to study at home.'
'They forget I'm a girl'
Marit did go back to her student room at the weekend. 'I really missed Wietske though. If I'm on my own, the boys forget that I'm a girl.' She can't remember any of the crude jokes. 'But it wasn't so bad', she quickly adds. 'Actually I thought it was quite funny too.' And the atmosphere at the Binnenhaven suited her. 'You can't concentrate on studying all the time. At least here there's some joking around now and then. Every now and then I hear a sudden piercing shriek from one of the rooms. That means that one of the boys doesn't understand some formula or other.' She is not sure whether she has studied enough. 'I find the structure of carbon compounds difficult. You get loads of dashes with Cs that all look the same on paper, but are different. I haven't really got the hang of that.'
'I'll buy a cake'
When the exams are over, Marit's got a party to go to in Germany. 'My last exam finished at about five o'clock, so I probably won't be able to get a lift with my friends. So then I'm allowed to drive already. My mother is going with me, though, because the car has to be taken back home again.'
As for Wietske, she will be celebrating her birthday during the weekend after the exams. At home. 'No, no party in my student house, that's such a lot of bother and extra expense. I'll buy a cake though.'
Most difficult exam: 'Physical Chemistry, I think.'
Next time: 'Keep up with my learning more during the normal teaching weeks.'
Wietske van Haalen
Most difficult exam: 'I thought it was Physical Chemistry (general chemistry for the life sciences). That's the one where I've got most doubts about whether I passed.'
Next time: 'I have to agree - keep up with my learning more during the normal teaching weeks.'