According to Julie

Thoughts that go through my head while revising for exams

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1. What are those people at the university library doing? I mean, the ones who are there for 10 hours or more per day. The ones who have been there 10 hours or more per day for months. They can’t possibly be working efficiently, or they would be done now. They would have read the library by now if they were reading at my speed. They are probably just succumbing to a false belief in The Osmosis Theory of Higher Education: the idea that close physical proximity to books and professors will make your brain absorb knowledge even while you update your Facebook status, watch random Youtube videos and take three-hour-long coffee breaks. (See this definition of “study”)

2. Why, oh why, did I not move into the university library months ago? The osmosis theory is so accurate, and if (when?) I completely fail at my exams, knowing that I had completely sacrificed all my free time to prepare for them would at least mean that I wouldn’t have to feel guilty about studying less so that I could spend my time dancing.

3. I would rather be dancing. I would rather be dancing. I would rather be dancing.

4. Whatever. No matter what my exam results are, at least I spent some of my exam revision time dancing. That’s learning too.

5. Economic history is fascinating. I love this. I just hope I can remember all this fascinating stuff when I have less than an hour to answer questions like “Why are some countries rich and some countries poor?” or “What determines economic growth?” (Why don’t they just add “What is the meaning of the universe?”)

6. I am one of the luckiest people in the world. My current “job” is to read interesting articles, thoughtfully curated and uploaded for my convenience by some of the most acclaimed geniuses in the field of economic history. Seriously, I have no reason to complain.

7. If it weren’t for the stress of knowing that some of these geniuses are going to judge my writing about what they’ve spent their careers researching, I would be having the time of my life.


For Norwegian readers, I have written more about university osmosis here.

I illustrated this post with pictures of books, because I enjoyed browsing for pictures of books. In reality, because I don’t actually like working with paper, my real study situation looks like this:

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3 and the last one was taken by my mom, Lena R. Andersen

One thought on “Thoughts that go through my head while revising for exams

  1. They aren`t there for 10 hours a day they are there for 24hrs a day its just you can`t see them because they bed down in the archives in the basement, somewhere in between the Brazilian and Belarusian diplomatic dispatches.

    Economic History quite straightforward: Douglas North multuplied by Nick Craft all devided by Gerschenkron = whatever you thought happened probably didn`t if you just adjust the base year you would see why you are so stupid. And Latin America will never get there shit together. Its probably important to throw in a joke or two at pure economics` expense.

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