Thousands of university students across the country are preparing for their exams. It’s, understandably, a very stressful time, but what can students do to help keep on top of their stress an anxiety?
- Eat Well: A balanced diet keeps your body healthy, and is vital for you to perform at your best.
- Get Enough Sleep: You need a full night’s sleep (about 8 hours) for your brain to function properly.
- Learn to Recognise When You’re Stressed: If you can be aware of when your stress is starting to become a problem, you can take steps to control it before it gets out of hand.
- Don’t Compare Yourself to Others: Everyone is different – not only will everyone get different results, everyone studies differently as well. What other people are doing doesn’t matter. Focus instead on what’s best for you and doing your best.
- Exercise: Not only does exercise provide a welcome break from studying, it produces chemicals that help combat stress and leave you feeling positive.
6. Take Regular Breaks: Your brain can only focus for so long in one go. Take regular short breaks every 40 minutes or so, with longer breaks every few hours. Scheduling time where it’s ok to check social media (i.e. in your short breaks) will also make you less likely to procrastinate – bonus!
7. Don’t Get Drawn In To Exam Post-Mortem: Worrying about what’s already happened won’t change it. Focus on moving forward – think about what’s coming next rather than dwelling on the past.
8. Lay off the Caffeine: Stimulants such as caffeine can increase your heart rate and contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety.
9.Take Steps to Overcome Problems: Instead of panicking about something you don’t understand, ask for help! If you’re having problems, ask a friend or tutor to go through the course material with you. People would far rather see you succeed – help is there if you only ask!
10. Talk to Someone!: If you’re feeling stressed and struggling to cope, please do talk to someone – a friend, family member, or a counsellor. Most universities have student support service, and are well-equipped and experienced at helping students cope with exam stress.
That last point is perhaps the most important – it’s okay (and indeed, it’s the smart thing to do) to ask for help if you need it.
Good luck in your exams!