With reviews right around the corner, it’s no surprise that most of us must be feeling tense, stressed, and anxious. These emotions are natural when there are a lot of demands on our time and our resources (mental, emotional, and physical). The word ‘exams’ also brings up nervousness and anxiety for us because of what it represents for us.
I’ve also heard a lot of students talk about regrets of the past term. “I should have been more organized”, “I wish I had studied harder”, “I should have finished my work on time”. These thoughts also bring a lot of shame and guilt along with them. These emotions compound the already existing stress and anxiety. It’s important to know that while there are a lot of things we could have done differently, we can’t go back and change them. Many of us also made those choices because of certain situations at that time. We may have been too tired to study or we may have had problems with our friends or family or maybe we just needed time to ourselves then. Whatever has happened is okay. Focusing on what is ahead is what is important right now.
It’s also important to understand our perspective of exams. When we see exams as something that determines our self-worth or our intelligence, it puts a lot of pressure on us to perform well. The message here is that if I don’t do my exams well, it means that I am a failure or that I am not good enough. When we see exams through this perspective, the pressure to do well sky-rockets because we don’t want to see ourselves as a failure.
Some helpful perspectives of exams can be seeing it as a:
- Feedback on what concepts we understood and what could be worked on.
- Feedback on our study methods and preparation during the term.
- Revision of concepts that were taught during the term
It also helps to remember the exams don’t tell us much about the stress we may have faced in the last term. The last year and a half have been challenging and the last term especially so for many reasons. Allowing ourselves compassion is crucial because we do not want to add to the stress and challenges we are facing. Even if you do feel that you could have done better in your exams, we look forward to what resources we have right now with us.
We work with the time we have, try to fix what can be fixed, ensure we are studying as best as we can, and look at taking care of our mental and physical health. We give ourselves compassion when we feel we could have done better and we reach out when we need help.
If you feel the need to talk to someone, do reach out to your counsellors. To reach out to the counselors at CMRNPS, you can use this link below. Please select the option ‘student wellness’: