Now that the holiday festivities are over, it’s time to get back to the grind of university life and exam season! But whilst you might be feeling optimistic about the year ahead, you might also find yourself burnt out following the festive season and feel overwhelmed by the stresses that come with preparing for your university exams.
We want to make sure you’re looking after yourself this exam season, so we’ve teamed up with our partners at Student Minds to focus on exam stress throughout the month of January. In doing that, we’ve put together a list of our top tips for eliminating exam stress. Read on below to find out more.
- Start your day off right. The tone of your day is set by the actions you take as soon as you wake up each morning. Be sure your intentions are reflected through your morning routine by choosing to get your day started in the best way possible for you. This could look like exercising, journaling, or even doing a bit of meditation as soon as you wake up. If you’re looking for more ideas on how to get your day started on the right foot, check out this article from Chopra.
- Set mini goals. Looking at the bigger picture can be quite overwhelming and can leave you feeling like you won’t ever achieve what you’ve set out to do, especially when it comes to preparing for exams! The best way to bring calm to this situation is to set mini goals along the way to your overall goal. For example, if your goal is to ace your exam, you might want to look at what components your exam might consist of and study in sections in the time leading up to your exam. If you’re looking to build out a more solidified plan, it might be helpful to use a diary or planner to do so. (Our newest partners in our VIP Programme, Pepper and Cute, have some great options to choose from, and Abodus residents get a great discount on all their products, so be sure to check them out!) Finally, if you’re wondering about the benefits of goal setting, check out this blog from Rescue Time.
- Take regular breaks. The easiest way to avoid exam burnout is to take regular breaks whilst you are studying. It might seem like powering straight through will help you to get your studying done more quickly, but it can actually have the opposite effect on your study time. According to many experts, studying without taking breaks can hinder your productivity and negatively impact the effectiveness of your study time. This article from The Wellbeing Thesis outlines the importance of taking study breaks.
- Look after yourself. You’ve probably heard the famous saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” and it absolutely applies to looking after yourself during exam season! To avoid overwhelm during this stressful time of year, be sure to listen to your body and give it what it needs. Eating well, hydrating, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep are the very basics to looking after yourself, but don’t forget that looking after yourself goes far beyond looking after your physical body. During this busy time, don’t forget to prioritise your self-care and look after your mental health. If you need some advice on how to do this, read our blog on how to prioritise your self-care as a university student here.
- Take a “techtimeout.” Oftentimes, technology use can add to the overwhelm of everyday life and increase feelings of stress, anxiety, and a whole host of other physical and mental obstacles. During exam season, when you’re likely staring at a screen for several hours each day, it is easy to add “decrease in productivity” to this list. Our friends at techtimeout have done lots of research on the negative effects that technology can have on us, and they are on a mission to help others develop a healthy relationship with technology. Later this month, we’ll be working with techtimeout to bring you an informational session on Instagram Live on how to reduce your screen time and exam stress through alternative activities that you enjoy, but in the meantime, check out their techtimeout10 challenge for some great ideas.
- Schedule things to look forward to when exam season is Is there a trip you’ve really been wanting to take, or a meal out with friends that is long overdue? Planning something to look forward to when exam season is over might be just what you need to help you get over the inevitable hump that you will face when whilst you are preparing for your exams. Check out what’s on in your area on eventbrite, or even take a look at our January What’s On calendar here, and mark your diary for a well-deserved treat once you’ve dominated this exam season!
- Talk to someone. If you are struggling with exam stress, be sure to speak to someone, whether that is a friend or family member, or even a professional. If you are looking for more support for your mental health and wellbeing in general, we encourage you to visit our Wellbeing Page as well as Student Minds’ advice and information platform, Student Space. For immediate support, please text STUDENT to 85258.
We want to make sure you have the best university experience possible, which is why we have put together this blog to make it easy for you to navigate exam stress as a university student. For more information on eliminating exam stress, check out the exam section of Student Minds’ Resources page. Furthermore, if you are looking for tips from students who have also faced exam stress, check out Student Minds’ blog here.