Exams and assessments can be a stressful time of year for students! Trying to balance revision and writing essays whilst still keeping healthy and happy can be tough, especially when there are lots of deadlines in a short space of time. It’s important to make sure you are looking after your mental and physical health during this time, I’ve put together some tips for coping with stress…
Make a plan and give yourself time off!
People work best at different times of the day, but what’s for sure is that twelve hours straight in the library is not going to be the most productive way of working! Find the times that work best for you, and make sure you create a timetable for working. If you work best in the daytime, treat revising like a nine to five job, and then finish for the day and do something fun! If you find you work best in the evenings, take the mornings for yourself, and start working in the afternoon. Once you are finished for the day, put the books down, and try and switch off from studying!
Give yourself regular breaks
Make sure you are taking breaks throughout the day (every hour!) when you’re working which you spend out of the space you are studying in to clear your head, and rest. Try to spend these breaks with friends, and make sure you don’t talk about work!
Take time to do the things you enjoy
Nobody can spend 24/7 studying, so make sure you are taking time to do the things you love. Read a book, watch films, spend time with friends, do art, whatever you love doing in your spare time! This will help you feel more focused when you are studying, and give you something to look forward to when you finish for the day.
Spend time outside
Try and get some fresh air in your breaks, go for a walk, or sit outside to have your lunch. Sitting in the library can get really stuffy!
Eat well, and Sleep!
A good night’s sleep will make a world of difference to your mood, and your focus, and having a regular early bed time will make it easier to get into a routine for revising. Make sure you are eating regular meals and snacks, the brain can’t work on an empty stomach!
When you finish an exam or assessment, treat yourself to something you love! You’ve done really well and should be proud of yourself! Take the rest of the day off, or if you don’t feel you can, take an hour or two to have some fun and de-stress.
Ask for help
If you find yourself getting stressed and anxious about your exams and assessments, try to talk to someone about it if you can. There is nothing wrong with reaching out for help. You are not alone, and lots of people are in the same boat as you. Talk to a friend or family member, and try and swap tips on how to deal with exam stress. If you feel you need some more support, contact the Student Life Centre, who can set up an appointment with you.
Remember that your worth is not measured by the amount of work you do, or some marks on a paper.
You can only do what you can do, and you are trying your best! As overwhelming as it may seem, exams and assessments are not the be all and end all. There is so much more to you as a person than the grades that you get. Be kind to yourself, and be proud of the work that you are doing! You are doing great!
If you need support around exam time, you can contact:
The Student Life Centre (http://www.sussex.ac.uk/studentlifecentre/)
The Counselling Service (http://www.sussex.ac.uk/counselling/)
If you need to claim exceptional circumstances, you can get information about them here: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/studentlifecentre/circumstances
The Library have created a skills hub of study skills with some tips for revising and essay writing