Having done exams in high school, college, and university, I get how stressful this time can be! Your friends and classmates might be pulling all-nighters, staying in the library an extra hour, or arranging study sessions with the hope that no one gets distracted and talks about summer plans.
There are two ways we can approach this stressful time; either in a panic, or as prepared as we can be. I wanted to share some golden nuggets of wisdom that I was given when the pressure and anxiety was becoming overwhelming. I hope that they are as encouraging to you, as they were for me.
- Make use of the support systems available to you on campus / at school.
I cannot stress this enough! I remember so many of my classmates not doing this and really wishing they had. In most schools / campuses there is support for learning, or departments that can help with study techniques, advice, and tips on how to best approach exams. Are your teachers offering support studies after class? If so, do yourself a favour and use the resources that are available to you, make the most of what is offered! And if you’re not sure what your school / teachers are doing during this time, it is always worth asking.
- Keep connected!
Speaking from experience, it was very easy for me to lock myself in my room, or live in the library, and find myself not talking to friends / relatives for weeks on end. Don’t shut yourself off from the outside world. Balance is key. Time to unwind and take a break with friends is important. Make sure you find a balance and take some time to catch up with family or friends and take your mind off your studies. Maybe after time in the library meet a friend for a coffee.
- Don’t overlook organisation.
When I was in college, my accounting lecturer told me this, and I have taken this advice into many seasons of my life! Breaking the work you need to do, the notes you need to revise, down into manageable chunks will help stop you becoming overwhelmed.
Looking at the bigger picture can make things seem impossible. Make lists, plans or charts to help organize what you need to revise / know / study. This helped me a LOT. Maybe you could even do this with a friend!
After all, there’s something pretty rewarding about crossing items off your to-do list for the day, right?
- Take care of yourself
You might be skimming through this part, but I’m going to put it out there: without good sleep, diet, and overall wellbeing during exam season you are not going to function best during this time. Taking care of yourself can help not only with your overall mental health, but also your focus, energy levels, and motivation.
We often forget to look back at how far we have come and what we have already achieved. When we have taken the time to prepare, receive support, taken care of ourselves, I would often say to myself “I am as best prepared as I can be!” speaking and thinking positive can make the world of a difference.
I just want to end on this note: asking for help is not something you should feel embarrassed to do, it’s not shameful! If you are reading this and finding this time really difficult, if you’re struggling to talk to friends or family, maybe reach out to your personal tutor or teacher at school about how you are feeling. They are there to help you and support you as best as they can.
We, here at GGF, are praying for you during this time, stay encouraged.