By RYAN JARVIS
Stress affects everyone in multiple aspects of their lives. But, exams are especially stressful.
For most of the Rhodes students Grocott’s spoke to, stress came from a fear of failing, not achieving their goals, or disappointing their families and the people they look up to.
Some quotes from the students:
- “I’m afraid of what my parents might think if I don’t do well.”
- “If I fail the exam, then I won’t have a future.”
- “I don’t want to be a failure.”
Stress often manifests in physical symptoms. Some students said they felt panicked and had difficulty breathing before writing the exam. Others experienced a form of amnesia while writing exams.
- “As soon as I turn the page, my mind becomes blank.”
- “I often find myself short of breath and panicky.”
- “I get sweaty, and I become nervous.”
But, stress can be managed. Coping mechanisms can allow us to feel more confident and prepared for exams. Most people turn to physical activities, like running, meditation, and yoga, which would enable one’s body and mind to separate for a bit.
Music lowers stress, too. Lyrical music seems the most beneficial because it allows new ideas to crowd one’s mind, providing a break from stressful thoughts.
Breathing exercises can help calm people down and help them step back, assess their situation and feel more grounded.
- “I like to run because it helps to clear my mind.”
- “Meditating is very beneficial to me, as it lets my mind wander freely.”
- “Breathing exercises help to remove me from my body, allowing for me to get a new perspective on the situation.”
- “I like to listen to music with lyrics, as it helps with removing negative thoughts from my mind.”
For better or worse, exams are central to our education system. They stress people because of the importance attached to them. Humans strive for acknowledgement, which often comes from good grades.
Move, listen, breathe, meditate. Rinse and repeat. You’ve got this.