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- Actually, my first day at the University was connected with exams. At that time in Russia there was a system where each University had its own exams and it was necessary to pass them to enter.
- I can say that there were several first days. First, I passed physics, then mathematics and then Russian.
- I passed physics in vast lecture hall. There were about 300 people in it. I remember that many entrants prepared cheat sheets with formulas and I saw how they hid them under their desks.
- I never prepare cheat sheets for exams, but that day I really wanted to do it. The thing was, I encountered a problem, because in one task I had to use a formula that I forgot. This wasn't a very difficult task, but it completely slipped my mind.
- But I really wanted to solve this task, so I decided that I would be able to derive this formula on my own.
- Occasionally, it didn't appear to be easy, and it took me about 8 pages to derive the formula.
- I remember that I got the highest mark in physics, which means that the examiner was impressed by my perseverance.
- The math exam was very unusual. On the day when I had to pass math, my temperature rose to 39.5 degrees. I called my father and asked him to take me to the University in his car, because I had no strength to get there by public transport. But he refused me, he said that I can postpone the exam. So, I went by myself.
- Further I remember everything as in a fog, like a nightmare. I just remember leaning myself against wall and waiting for the door to open.
- After receiving an exam ticket, I realized that all the tasks were very easy. So, I spent only 25 minutes to complete everything and went home.
- The examiner was very surprised and in his eyes I realized that he thought that I didn't know anything and passed him the work so quickly because I couldn't solve even one task.
- At home I fell into a deep sleep. But suddenly I woke up in terror. I had a dream about my exam paper with the solutions to the tasks and realized that in one task I had made a mistake. The right answer was not affected, but I knew that such mistakes usually decrease the grade by a point or two.
- When the results were posted, I saw that I got 9 marks, so they removed only 1 point. It was good news, this meant I entered the University.
- How I passed the Russian I don't remember. I only remember that it was an essay about Eugene Onegin.
- derive - obtain (a function or equation) from another by a sequence of logical steps, for example by differentiation
- entrant - a person who has recently become a member of an institution such as a university
- perseverance - the quality of continuing with something even though it is difficult
- terror - extreme fear