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Unfortunately, the time of year is upon us again, it is time for the dreaded exams; cue panic attacks, sleepless nights, and a social life which revolves around the few people you see in the library. We may dismiss superstition at any other time of the year; but when exams are looming we start believing that no matter how many hours of revision we have done the only way we are going to get through our exams is by wearing our lucky socks. I have heard many crazy superstitions since being a student; but recent studies have shown they actually have some real luck behind them due to the confidence they bring us.
Let’s start with an old favourite, our lucky underwear. Never a good choice if your exams are on consecutive days, however this seems to be the most common superstition for all students. For me it’s my lucky socks; I know deep down they are just a pair of socks which I bought in a pack with many just like them; but still I find myself getting a little more nervous turning up to my exam and realising I have forgotten to put them on.
Next, there is a diet plan. Some students swear by a pre-exam diet to get them through the hours of concentration which exams demand. This superstition, unlike most others, actually has some truth behind it. For example many people eat bananas before their exams because unlike energy drinks they release energy slowly. Other beneficial foods are whole-grain cereal and fruit, which both boost your brain power and concentration.
Lucky charms: it may be an old key-ring, a certain piece of jewellery or clothing but lucky charms run with us through life. Lucky charms allow us to have a bit of home comfort whilst sitting on our own in the scary exam hall. This is of course until we fail an exam, lose a sports competition or are unsuccessful in a driving test, in which case we dismiss the lucky charm due to its loss of magic. Let’s just hope it hasn’t lost its magic come our time to sit facing the wall, hearing the dreaded words “you can now begin”.
If you happen to see a few people dressed head to toe in blue, pink or other various colours do not assume their style choice is due to an obvious exam panic. They may look like they have lost all ability to dress themselves without resembling a crayon; however, it is most probably an attempt to bring that extra bit of luck to their exams through their lucky colour. Lucky colours often run with us through childhood and like our lucky charms are comforting; even if we have passed the age of seven.
So, they may seem silly to some people, and you may get the few odd looks when your old ragged teddy bear key-ring is sitting on your exam table, but superstitions are a large part of how we cope with exams. Sometimes we need a little bit of comfort at such a daunting time. Plus, if they are going to bring us a little bit more confidence then all the better; as we shall certainly be needing it.