Exam and assignment season is fast approaching and students are beginning to wonder, how am I going to do this? Stress and anxiety starts to kick in when assignments and exams pile up, until you eventually feel like giving up before you have even started.
There are ways, however, of reducing stress and helping you do the best you can.
First, take a deep breath and remind yourself of the common phrase “this too shall pass.” Focus on something positive that you’re looking forward to in the future. It could be a holiday abroad or simply a night out with your friends. Remember, even though it can seem impossible at the time, especially when pressure kicks in, it will eventually be over.
Another thing that might seem obvious and you might be sick of hearing is that sleep is your friend. It might seem like a great idea at the time, to get an extra hour of cramming in at 2am. There is simply no point trying to cram as much information as you can when your brain is too tired to take any of it. Sleep, mindfulness and healthy eating can make a huge difference. There are a lot of apps and online articles that can help you reduce stress, such as the app ‘Calm’. It is designed to help you fall asleep and unwind, which is a great help if you can’t sleep, especially before an exam.
A great way of making sure you don’t miss an assignment, or a certain exam topic, is to separate them into smaller tasks and assign them for different days. Make a checklist for each day of the things you need to get done and only focus on that day alone. This helps your workload feel more manageable. Ticking off each thing you do is also a great idea, because let’s be honest, it’s really satisfying. If, however, your study plan or checklist doesn’t go as planned, leave a day with less things to do so you have the time to do it another day.
And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Try being aware of your thoughts and when you are starting to feel more and more stress building up. Talk to someone, such as your friends and family and remember you are not alone in this. Sometimes having a talk or rant about a module or exam can help lift the weight off your shoulders and keep you going. Knowing that other people are in the same boat can be extremely reassuring. A little stress can help you get things done quicker, but the point is not to get too caught up in it. A little tip that might be hard to do, but that can help, is trying to enjoy parts of the exam and assignment season. Take in the satisfaction of completing an assignment on time, or the joy when a question you wanted comes up on an exam, because college doesn’t last forever, and this is all part of the experience.
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