HC Nottingham's guide to dealing with exam stress

Welcome back Her Campus Nottingham readers! After a month of Christmassy rest and relaxation, the harsh reality of exam season is looming scarily close. We're here to offer a few tips and tricks to help get you through that dreaded exam and essay stress.

Number One: Accept it. For a lot of things in life they say that acceptance is the first step, so why not for the dreaded exam period too? A bit of stress can motivate you further than you imagined, help you focus and keep you there.

Number Two: Look after yourself. Professionals say that if you experience symptoms such as unexplained aches and pains, poor appetite, constant tiredness, blurred vision, forgetfulness, dizziness or increased irritability then it's not a healthy level of stress you're experiencing and it's time to do something about it. These aren't normal or okay things for your body to be experiencing, and can all too easily be written off as something that comes with the package.

Number Three: Perspective. For you maybe this means getting physically out of the uni bubble and seeing that life that does exist on the outside, and for others this might mean chatting to someone not currently facing deadline after deadline (parent, friend abroad...)

Number Four: Don't compare. It's all too tempting to ask fellow coursemates how far along with revision they are, or what their word count stands at, but you may end up asking that person who has read way beyond the suggested reading and has already finished the coursework. Turnitin, date stamped and all. Every student revises differently and focusing on your revision and your progress will ensure things work out best for you.

Number Five: Organisation! This means actual organisation and not procrastination. File those notes, highlight those pages and figure out exactly how much you've got to do. This includes managing your now extra precious time and making a timetable. Having an organised mass of revision to conquer is miles easier than an unorganised one.

Number Six: Health. This is the last time you want to get a raging cold so it's time to treat your body like a temple. Or at least kind of like a temple. The easiest and least time consuming ways to prevent illness are to sleep properly (the occasional late night library session is probably unavoidable but don't let these creep into the majority), eat as well as you can (even when you thought takeaways were tempting enough, they become even more so during the cold, dark, exam-filled days of January), and exercise (tired, sluggish bodies make for tired, sluggish minds after all).

Number Seven: Here are a couple of quick fire tips that have helped us get through those long hours in the library: make or find a motivational playlist of around 45 minutes with the end of music marking the start of break time; switch up the studying by trying an alternative revision style (flash cards, group revision); fill breaks with things that still work your brain (reading your favourite book, chatting with a friend) but aren't actually revision.

Number Eight: avoid that post-exam analysis of every single question and answer, it'll probably make you anxious and stop you from enjoying that post-exam high. End of exams means it's time to celebrate, with friends, food, sleep, and/or a big night out!


Good luck for exams! Remember to keep checking HC Nottingham when you're taking a break xo


Edited by Caroline Chan