In this blog, I will share my experience in university and some tips on how to look after your mental health especially dealing with exam stresses.
During your time in university, your mental health goes through a roller-coaster, sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s not. Understating and realising when you need extra support from your peers or other services it’s really important for you to maintain your optimum mental health. Personally, I struggle with mental health issues during exam weeks, as this is when they are at their worst. I’ve gone from having minimal stress all year round to have great levels of stress in exam season which sometimes leads to me having anxiety and panic attacks. There have been many occasions that this amount of stress has been so bad for me physically as well as mentally, I end up having body tremors during my exams which prevents me from concentrating and doing my best. Fevers, headaches and feeling burnout also happens when my stress levels get high. As exams and feeling stressed out is inevitable, there are some “copying mechanisms” I have collected to help myself and ensure that my mental health isn’t “down the drain” during exam seasons, I have personally tested these tips and can successfully say that they have worked over the two years of my degree.
1)Writing everything down when I am feeling under so much stress, I like to write all of my thoughts, feelings and etc down on paper. This allows you to visualise all of these things and hence go through and sort everything out physically (if that makes sense), this way you can stop worrying and stressing about things which are not really important and spend time on the more critical things.
2)Making a to-do-list, a lot of people that I know do this and it helps them stay on track with their revision, it’s a great tool, I also like to add some little mundane things for example: cleaning my room, sorting out my bookshelf, going to the gym or for a walk, etc. Having these things on your list that are not hard to do helps you refresh your mind as it gives it a break from the intense revision sessions and once you cross it off your to-do list, you’ll feel accomplished.
3)Speaking to someone personally, I prefer speaking to my friends, this makes me realise that I’m not alone in this and that I have a great support system around me. Most of the time all your friends are also going through the same thing so being there to listen and relate with them it’s important too. You may also feel like talking your PAT if you wish or maybe someone in the wellbeing office.
Second year – Biomedical science student