Exams, Coffee and the Politics, Law and Economics (PLE) Community

@Robert Wagner

A tight-knit class of Politics, Law and Economics students comes together at midterms

Robert Wagner felt a close connection with his fellow classmates from the moment they were all introduced to the Politics, Law and Economics (PLE) program. The bond between classmates has only grown since then, and in the crunch time before midterms, the PLE community (in true IE University style) really came together to support and encourage each other.

Examinations can be one of the most stressful and motivating times of the year. Students put a lot of time and effort into studying to prove they have learned the material taught in their classes.”

 Last week, the Politics, Law and Economics freshmen had two consecutive midterms, both of which were difficult. In the days leading up to the tests, many of us had our heads buried in our books, reviewing the material. Concentration and stress was high. No one wanted to do anything but study, recognizing they would have to sacrifice some nights out with friends in order to do well on their exams.

 When the day came, it was time to test our mettle. After the first session, many of us felt good with the answers we had submitted. Hard work and commitment had paid off.

 After the exams, the tired PLE group gathered around the coffee machine; and conversation took off. Sighs, and sips of coffee were followed by, “well, how did you do?” answered with smiles, and “good, and you?”

 More and more of the Politics, Law and Economic (PLE) class found its way to the coffee machine after finishing the exam, and soon, 16 to 17 students were crammed around a table made for six in the cafeteria. We pulled chairs together from all of the empty tables around us, forming a rallying point. The circle of chairs grew considerably, as more students wandered out of the exam and gathered round.

 Students were stressed about the next test, now only 15 minutes away, but there was also huge sense of relief after having done well on the first exam. Together, around the mess of chairs, we were able to relax for a minute in good company. There were smiles, discussion and laughter. It was a happy scene. The cold weather outside and the excitement about midterms pushed our already close class even closer together, as we piled in to talk to each other. Stress brought us together, and we laughed about how good it all was.

 Some people talked about Spanish politics, others looked over their notes making sure they hadn’t missed anything. I discussed the previous test with some friends, talking about the kinds of answers we had given on an essay. Sometimes, we thought a response was creative and interesting; sometimes we joked about an answer that seemed to fall flat, laughing through the author’s insistent defense.

 I remember feeling excited when I first met the IE community at the IExperience two years earlier. I knew that the intense sense of community would continue after that first week of classes. But, I didn’t realize how much it would grow. With my coffee and friends around that small table, I realized that a little family had been created in the PLE class. Even small things like having a short interim from the stress of the tests together, was enough to boost our spirits.

 As the next midterm approached, we finished our coffee, walked into the exam room together, and confidently took the exam. Refreshed by the coffee and conversation with our classmates, we were ready to dive in. We knew we would all meet up again afterwards, to congratulate or console each other, and were energized by the support of our PLE community.