Coming to the end of my degree, I can say with confidence I am definitely somewhat experienced when it comes to exam stress. Don’t be fooled, though – I ain’t an expert. I’ll leave a lot of things to the last minute, sleep through numerous alarms and stress myself out over the minutiae. In saying this, I have learned how to best deal with the stress that I cause myself when it comes to crunch time at the end of the year.
So we’ve teamed up with headspace to bring you the I Can’t Even Deal RN series, where we mull over all the issues we face as youngsters trying to make it in the big bad world. Here are some tips for when you’ve got 13 weeks of content to learn in two days, a whole year of HSC study to cram into one night, or are just stressing out over insignificant things.
#1 Focus On What’s Important
First and foremost, prioritise the most important things. Nearing the end of my degree, I prioritised exams and passing everything (P’s get degrees, right?). This meant dropping lower priorities, talking to managers at work, giving up shifts (even if that meant forfeiting Sunday rates). If you’re studying in the HSC, just zone in a bit more – the underage drinking can wait.
Prioritise the important shit, and accept that exams are often important.
#2 Take Some Time Out
As tempting as it might be to pull an all-nighter and study until words don’t look normal anymore, it’s important to take a break every now and then. Getting some fresh air and giving your eyes a break is super important (unless you want to age super quickly). Extra points if you get some canine loving in your break – doggos are arguably the best super stress-reliever.
I also really support taking a walk, or physically removing yourself from your study area (that place can get hectic really quick). Exams like the HSC, or final year in uni, can be the most stressful times – so accept that you can only revise so much stuff.
#3 Catch Those Z’s
Getting a full night’s sleep is super important come exam time, and there are heaps of simple methods to get more sleep. Yes, pulling an all-nighter and getting all that info into your brain might seem like a good idea, but reality is it’ll wreak havoc on your intentions to ace the exam.
It’s been proven that sleep is often more important than hitting the gym, and that a good night’s rest actually changes your entire body and life. If you struggle with sleep, check out some of our sneaky tips to avoid feeling like a zombie every morning.
#4 Eat Ya Greens
Now is as good a time as ever to start that diet you keep putting off. Eating healthily and regularly is important when you’re stressed, and a good diet can make a huge difference to your productivity. You’re more likely to get sick around exam time due to stress and your immunity system slacking off, so be sure to get some good ol’ greens into your diet.
#5 Get Your Endorphin Dosage
While you’re taking your time out, it’s worthwhile exercising (as much as you might not want to). There are so many studies that show exercise is the best thing to do when you’re stressed to help you get out of a rut. Even something as simple as going for a walk (yes, I really love walks) will help you to refresh and get back into the study grind. It will likely give you a little energy boost, too.
And there you have it! We can often put sleep second to study (I know I certainly have), but making sure you get enough shut-eye is often the difference between nailing and failing that exam. Check out these extra tips from headspace to improve your sleep and crush those exams.
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