The high-stress environment that typically is associated with exam periods at colleges and universities alike has come to be a renowned trait of the experience. It is one that has long been considered to be one of the most prominent causes of the ever-growing mental health epidemic that continues to become more prominent with every passing month. All over the world, students find themselves grappling with the anxieties and stresses of maintaining their academic successes. This is not a problem that is geographically limited to any one place, but instead it is one that can and does affect students everywhere. So, how does one cope?
Form a reliable study group
Sometimes a big contributing factor to stress during exam period is the problem of getting stuck in your own head. This can cause heightened levels of stress, as you are trying to work against your own head to find the answers. When you are an active and consistent member in a reliable study group, you can bounce your understanding and advice on information and questions off one another. This offers up fresh perspectives and a stronger, more well-rounded grasp on the content, which in turn makes you feel more in control and thus less stressed out.
Handwrite your notes
We live in the digital age, and as such we have become so used to using a device that we barely pay enough attention to what we are typing to see if it is spelt correctly, let alone if we have absorbed the information properly. Handwriting your course notes forces you to slow down and digest the information at a more organic pace, which helps to keep you focused for longer, as well as limiting the stress to your eyes and your body overall. So, handwrite your notes – it can even be a therapeutic process, which inevitably lowers stress levels.
Keep your support group close
Having a strong support group around you that you know has your back throughout the entire exam period (and in life in general) is really important in helping your stress levels to neutralize. Why? Because when you are surrounded by the people you love most – or at the very least keeping in contact via phone calls and the like – you tend to stay happy, and happy people are obviously less stressed out (for the most part). So, embrace and keep close your innermost support group – you will definitely need them at some point.
Map out your week ahead of time
This might sound strange, but it really does help to map out your week ahead. Having your classes and study sessions written down or scheduled in to your Google calendar (whatever works best for you) means that you can effectively plan social outings, family time, quality time with your partner, or alone time and hobbies around those study sessions. This also makes you more likely to be more productive, knowing that you have other appointments to keep. When you have successfully nailed down your organisation skills, your stress levels will inevitably begin to dissipate (if not entirely disappear, if you do it right).
Take time out for yourself
Believe it or not, sometimes the best way to study is to step away from the books for a while. Studying when you are in a deflated frame of mind is not only categorically ineffective, but it can result in your stress levels rising significantly. This often makes the problem worse. Taking the time for yourself when you need it, to do whatever makes you happiest (whether that be bike riding, reading, CBD, or painting, to name a few examples), allows you to get your head out of the game, so to speak, enough to rewire and replenish in time to hit the books when you are fresh and ready. Making time for you, is the best way to offset unhealthy or otherwise unpleasant stress levels.