exam stress 101

April 29, 2009 • 6 comments • 1195 views

A really sweet reader of Happy Go Ducky requested I write an entry on exam stress. So, this is for you 🙂

I know most of us are going through the same thing, and our lives have been reduced to going to the library and back. Eat, study, sleep, eat, study, sleep.

Well, that’s not entirely true for me. I don’t believe in studying day and night and again, day and night until there’s nothing left in your life. I’ve never been able to just sit in the library for the whole day, bring my pillow and pyjamas, and study study study. I get really bored.

I don’t even think my parents will agree on that kind of method of studying. Trust me, you do need a break. There’s no point stressing out about exams.

I really admire the way my dad thinks about exams. He always tells me that exams is just a time to show off what you’ve learned and basically challenge everything your lecturer says. It’s a time to show off how smart you are. Gosh, he must’ve been a really annoying student. He never studied in the library (I have never studied in the library either. Ever.) He’d go just to mess up people’s notes and make fun of them. Seriously, annoying student.

When everybody was busy studying, my dad was one step ahead, thinking about business opportunities. He was known for making good notes, so he made a business out of selling them to fellow students and students from other unis as well! So when people were studying, he was making money!! And he graduated with a first class honours!

I’m definitely not a first class student, but I’ve managed to get straight As in my life, which I think I deserve to be proud of. We should all look back how far we’ve come, and hopefully this will give us motivation to carry on, for young *insert your name here*’s sake. She is counting on you to continue what she has achieved.

We should all study hard, but this doesn’t mean putting our life on hold. Give yourself breaks, take a walk, go to the gym, watch a movie with friends, EAT SOMETHING, for God’s sake. Exams are important, but it’s not what life is all about. Never forget that.

I knew this girl who studied soooo hard, always in her room, never wanted to go out with us. She sat next to me during an exam once. And half hour into it, she just dropped on the floor, face pale and lips dry. I didn’t know what to do!!! Should I have gotten up and risk being accused of looking at her paper, or should I carry on writing?! Of course I couldn’t leave her on the floor, so I carried her up, and by then, the invigilators came and dealt with her. Turned out she had a panic attack. When we all had lunch after the exam, she had to be isolated and have lunch with the invigilators. She couldn’t revise obviously, because it wouldn’t be fair to the rest of us, and she couldn’t talk to any of us, because she didn’t know what was asked in the exam paper. She finally took the exam after her lunch, by herself. How stressful is that?!

What I’m trying to say is have a balance. Everybody has different ways of studying so you should never compare yourself to others; that will totally mess up your focus. But it’s safe to say that everybody needs a break. Know when to stop. The only time you’ll ever see me sitting for a few hours straight is a couple of days before the exam. That’s when my stress level rockets up to the sky. But after that exam, I sleep. A very deep sleep.

I’ve heard a lot of advice on how to prep up for exams (e.g. eat raisins bla bla) but I find that these work for me:

  • Praying. It’s really calming knowing that you have a great power looking after you and giving you strength
  • Flashcards
  • Coloured notes. I can never read a whole page of just one colour.
  • Sleep. When my eyes are tired, I put them to rest for a while.
  • ProPlus. For the desperate times.
  • Asking for forgiveness from your parents before every paper. I swear, this really works.

2 years ago, I posted up an album on Facebook on how to deal with exam stress. These are just jokes, please don’t take any of them literally. I take no responsibility for whatever happens to you if you listen to me. Haha.

1. EAT

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2. TAKE FUNNY PICS OF YOURSELF

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3. EXERCISE

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4. GET HIGH

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5. ASK GOD WHY HE’S DOING THIS TO YOU

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6. GO TO THE PARK AND TAKE PICTURES OF INDECENT GIRLS

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7. ASK YOUR NEPHEW WHAT HE THINKS OF *insert subject here*

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8. TEXT YOUR PARENTS

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9. EMBRACE YOUR FEARS. ACCEPT A DARE

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10. LOOK AT FUNNY PICTURES OF YOUR BEST FRIEND

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11. WRITE YOUR NOTES WITH YOUR LEFT HAND

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12. IF ALL ELSE FAILS, PACK UP YOUR BAGS AND LEAVE

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OK, jokes aside, GOOD LUCK FOR EXAMS EVERYBODY!!! Just picture your lecturer/invigilator in diapers, and everything will seem less scary. 🙂