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Life is tough. I have often thought that if I could teach my past-self the lessons I know now, I would have turned out differently. It is my hope that somebody can learn from mistakes, which is why I decided to share a few things I wish my younger self knew while taking my history exam yesterday.

1. Denmark and Norway were once a united kingdom.

We all know that Denmark and Norway are Northern European countries, well at least I know that, but the historical importance of Denmark and Norway’s unity is something I really needed to know during that final.

2. “Gulathing’s Law” was Scandinavia’s first written law.

Do more than skim over that chapter about Scandinavia. It will change your life. Trust me.

3. Holmgang is a ritualized form of combat once used to settle legal disputes in Iceland.

Sure, maybe my past-self knew Vikings used combat to settle arguments, but when the question is multiple choice and it gives you four possible answers to choose from that all look like made up words, you will understand the importance of Holmgang.

4. Charlemagne became the first Holy Roman Emperor in 800 A.D.

You shouldn’t dwell on the past, but it is important to learn from it. In this case, I learned that Alexander the Great was a Greek emperor, not Roman one.

5. The beginning of the Era of Scandinavian Migration is considered to be 793 A.D.

Failure is success when you learn from it and we learned that we definitely should have read that chapter about Scandinavia instead of skimming it.

6. Scandinavian mercenaries made up the Varangian Guard in the Byzantine Empire.

Read that fucking chapter about Scandinavia. Most of this test was about Scandinavia and your dumb ass didn’t even know where it was on a map.  

7. The significance of Norway codifying its laws in 1687.

This is the essay question. Sure, I might have remembered to mention the lack of influence Roman law had on Norwegian law, but is that going to be enough to raise my grade to a C? I doubt it, since I didn’t know a goddamn thing about Scandinavia.

I hope you learn from the mistakes I made yesterday, because this would have really helped me with yesterday’s history final.

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