18 May 2015

By Lauren E. White

Exam stress

Mocks, GCSEs and A-levels are in full swing today and if you’re reading this, you’ll probably have one of them today. That’s why I’ve chosen the topic of exam stress as the focus of this week’s column.

After talking last night with one of my good friends about being stressed about exams, I realised that there must be thousands of people up and down the country feeling exactly the same. So, today’s column is dedicated to her.

While I haven’t mastered the art of not caring or understanding how to de-stress, I still think that knowing you’re not alone in the pressures of exams is vital.

Crying over your homework and revision is something that will, more than likely, happen to each of us. We’ll wonder why we do it and how to stop it, but in truth, there is no answer. My best bet would be that the reason you’re crying is because you care and you care because you want to do well. However, we must remember that crying isn’t going to get the job done and won’t help us when we’re in the exam. So, the best thing to do is wipe your eyes, put away your work and take the rest of the evening to take care of yourself. Take a long, hot shower, put on a face mask, read a book and then have an early night. Make sure that you put your phone away while you’re doing these things – the aim is to de-stress.

Then, the next time you come again to revise, take a few deep breaths and push away all of those negative feelings. This one Chemistry exam doesn’t define how great you are at another subject, or how passionate you are about a certain thing. Nor does the Maths one, or even the Art one. Exams are one way of testing intelligence and despite our feelings about them being the be-all and end-all, somewhere deep inside of us knows they’re not. However, this is no excuse to wing them and disregard their purpose. We still have to try, otherwise we defeat the whole object.

Next time you feel like screaming or ripping up your revision notes, take a step back and focus on you. You won’t do your best by stressing out and you’ll increase the chance of the F on your paper. Take care of you and you will succeed.

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