Managing stress in the run up to exams – OurWarwick

Managing stress in the run up to exams

IndonesiaUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Laeticia Junanto | Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe Contact Laeticia

With exams coming into view on the horizon, there are several emotions running through my body: stress, anxiety, PANIC to name a few…! And whilst the irrational part of my mind is fraught with these feelings, the other part of me is aware that, with the right preparation, everything will be just fine!

So, to all my fellow finalists, to the perfectionists, to the worriers and anyone else feeling this way, let’s break down how we can navigate and manage stress.

Get to the root of the cause

What’s on your mind? Whilst the looming pressure of exams may be the main reason for your unease, it’s probable that the pressure is building up from multiple directions. Maybe you have a certain amount of responsibility within a society, or you’ve agreed to one too many social engagements – either way, get it all down onto paper so you know what you’re working with.

Acknowledge that it is tough

University was never designed to be easy. It’s meant to be a challenge, and with that naturally there will be times of stress. But don’t get frustrated about feeling this way and never think you’re alone in doing so. Rather than minimising your experience, accept that you are feeling stress and know that, when dealt with in the right ways, it can be rechannelled into motivation.

Take the time out to plan

Making a plan can seem frivolous when it feels like deadlines are closing in on you from every direction, but a plan will guide you and make sure you use your time in the most effective way. Look at all that was on your mind that you wrote down earlier – which of these things are your priorities? How long will each task take to get done? Slot them into a timetable accordingly.

Channel your energy into the actionable

It’s more than likely that some of your stressors may lay in events you simply can’t control. Whilst we can’t help caring or being invested in situations that are beyond us, it is important to set some boundaries that will help us to protect our energy.

Assess the situation you are concerned about and work out if there are any actionable steps that you are in control of. Whether this is sending flowers, signing a petition or going to a protest, it may help alleviate your stress if you redirect your energy here.

Be disciplined

You may feel in the next few months you have a small mountain to climb to get where you want to be. I know I certainly do! And, whilst there are a good 8 weeks before the onset of exams, this time will have to be used deliberately and carefully. And therefore, we must be disciplined!

Outline a set of rules that are going to help you get to where you want to be, perhaps these are wake up times or number of hours spent in the library, but either way commit to sticking to them! This is the time to be disciplined.

As you stick to your goals and develop a structure, it will help you minimise the stress as you start to feel more in control.

Take care of yourself

Sleep well, eat well, exercise and ensure that you’re still finding time to socialise and enjoy yourself! These are the building blocks of a healthy life and mandatory for you to be able to perform at your best.

Moreover, remember there is no quick fix and be cautious when turning to nicotine, alcohol or caffeine and for that matter anything in excess.

Detach from the outcome

Be kind to yourself and remember there is only so much you can control. Put your energy into doing your best work in the present rather than worrying about the future.

Ask for help

Whilst stress is normal and even healthy, too much stress is not. If you are feeling overwhelmed, remember that the university Wellbeing Services are always available both for someone to talk to and professional advice.

IndonesiaUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Laeticia Junanto | Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe Contact Laeticia

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