University: Coping with Exam Stress

Now it’s March, all of a sudden exams seem an awful lot closer than they did this time last week. Things are getting serious, and as it’s final year there’s no fixing any mistakes made. I’m one of those people who gets hugely stressed around exam time, I pretty much live off adrenaline – and get ill 30 minutes after my last exam ends (true story).

 photo Revision Stress_zpsri2cebsk.jpgWhen PasTest offered to send over their top tips for beat exam stress, I was intrigued as to what they’d come up with. Turns out there’s some good advice here!

The trials and tribulations of everyday life can get to anyone, but when you factor in revising for your exams it can be the straw that broke the camel’s back. If you’re finding yourself getting increasingly stressed about your upcoming exams, try these tips for handling exam stress:

Look After Yourself

Stress manifests itself in various ways – from feeling anxious to random outbursts of anger – and when the pressure is on it helps to remember a few bits of advice to ensure your head remains in the game.

  • Look after yourself and maintain a decent work/life balance
  • Make sure you have a balanced diet
  • Exercise can be a great way of switching off from the pressures of revision and allows you to blow off steam. If you’re not a gym-bunny then a head-clearing walk will suffice
  • Socialise with friends who aren’t on the same course as you – hanging out with other students can sometimes cause more panic as you’re guaranteed to end up talking about revision
  • Don’t overdo the socialising as you don’t want to lose a day of precious revision to a hangover!

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Last Minute Revision

If we were all ideal students, there would be no such thing as last minute revision and everyone would be prepared well in advance. So if you’re a last minute reviser, how do you handle the stress and dread? Your first answer might be ‘CAFFEINE!’ but if you overdo this it can have the knock-on effect of making you even more anxious and reduce your productivity as a result. Far better to choose other last minute cram-revision methods…

PasTest offer a variety of revision aids each suited to how well you personally respond to learning – there are vLectures, paper lectures, past exam papers, and even podcasts that you can listen to to help you. Perfect for cramming.

Give A Past Paper A Go

Whether you’re an auditory learner or a visual learner, the proof is in the pudding which is why having a go at a past exam paper is great idea – this can provide a real morale boost when you’re stressing over whether you’ve revised enough or on the flipside can point you towards what you need to revise some more about.

Don’t Turn Up Late!

Though you might be stressing and panicking about the exam, this feeling will be nothing in comparison to how you feel if you’re running late for it. Not only is showing up late embarrassing but getting yourself in a fluster before even sitting down will have a massive impact on how well you perform during the day. Plan your arrival thoroughly and make sure to check the traffic before setting off for any accidents that might cause delay.

If you find your stress level is above what you’ve normally experienced, remember there are options available – whether you visit your student support service or GP or just have a quiet chat with friends and family they can provide help and assistance.

 photo Exam Stress_zpsxlvngalo.pngI’m a big advocate of looking after yourself, particularly around exam season. I also have a rule of a ‘treat’ meal, preferably something vegetarian (I had food poisoning the night before a GCSE exam once, so eating meat is something which stresses me out around exam times) the evening prior to an exam. The best tip for me here is to definitely try past papers – it gets you both learning the material and familiar with the exam layout and style of question. Kills multiple birds with one stone I guess!

*Sponsored post in associated with PasTest, however all opinions are my own as always!

Do you suffer from exam stress? How do you tend to deal with it?

University Guest Post: Common Misconceptions

Another week, another guest post and today it’s coming from Georgia of Taking New York. She’s going to be talking about common misconceptions relating to university and let me tell you – it’s a fab post! I wish I’d read it before going to university all of those years ago as it would have definitely eased the nerves a little!

 photo University Misconceptions_zpsgs1tjigt.jpgHi I’m Georgia from over at Taking New York and this week I’ve been given the pleasure of guest posting here on Chloe’s blog! The theme recently has been all about starting university and, as a student entering my third year, I thought it was about time we addressed some of the common university misconceptions.

First off, the whole ‘University is the best time of your life’ myth.

I’m not saying it won’t be the best time of your life (by all means I hope you enjoy every moment of it) but the problem is when that pressure becomes so huge that you feel like a failure for not enjoying every second.

During your three years of studying, I’m sure you will have moments that eventually show up in your highlight reel but not every day will feel like the best time of your life and that is very much okay.

Whilst university involves a certain amount of fancy dress and alcohol, people often forget that it demands a hell of a lot of hard work too; something that isn’t always a barrel of laughs.

On those nights when you find yourself crying in the library because you just can’t see the end of the essay you’re working on, remind yourself that it is okay to be stressed, it is okay to question what the hell you’re doing and, most importantly, remind yourself that this is just a temporary glitch during the ‘best time of your life’.

Next up, one of the biggest worries students seem to have before starting university is:
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You will be expected to go out and drink every single night.

This is not true.

If that’s what you want to do then trust me you won’t struggle to find people to do this with and you won’t struggle to find a decent club on a Monday night. But, if this isn’t your idea of fun then don’t panic.

Whilst the university year typically starts with ‘Fresher’s Week’ which is admittedly very much alcohol-orientated, if you give it time, attend lectures and join societies you will soon find other like-minded souls whom would also rather swap tequila shots for a night of movies and pizza, a day in the Lakes or even punting in Oxford.

‘Getting a first is the single most important thing’.

I know this seems like an odd thing for me to include as a ‘misconception’ but bear with me.

During A-Levels the most important thing is to get the best grade you can in order to meet university entry requirements. However, once you graduate, employers are looking for much more than just a degree on your CV.

Instead, they want to see you have transferable skills, interests and experience too. Regardless of whether you have a first, if you have nothing more to offer a potential employer then there lies a problem.

Instead of putting all your effort into achieving that elusive first, my advice would be to develop a number of other skills too. Skills that will show employers that you can do more than just sit an exam, you can hold down a part-time job, captain the netball team and write for the paper too; a much more interesting and well-rounded person if you ask me!

Now for a ‘rule’ that seems to circulate university and pops up in almost all advice posts:
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‘Don’t get with your flatmate’.

I broke this rule and will happily admit that the first time I met my boyfriend was on the first day of Fresher’s Week, just as we were both unpacking our belongings into adjacent bedrooms.

Though the misconception is that it is bound to go wrong, bound to end in tears and bound to make it awkward for everyone in the flat, two years later and we’re still going strong and very happy.

Perhaps if you’re looking for something ‘casual’ I would agree and say look further afield but, if like me, you genuinely like someone, don’t let this ‘rule’ ruin what could ultimately be pretty special.

 photo IMG_4142_zpsg7rfcejw.jpgLastly, they say you make your friends for life at university and for once, I agree.

University is no different to school in that there will always be people you like and people you dislike, but, because university is so much larger, it is ten times easier to remove yourself from them. In which case, you can happily spend your time forming friendships with those who matter and those who will potentially go on to become, like they say, ‘life-long friends’; one of the very best things about university.

This for me is so true – I met some of the best friends I’ve ever had at university, and I can’t imagine not knowing them. Told you this would be a great post! If you want to guest post over here please email me on [email protected]!

What do you think are big misconceptions about university?

University Guest Post: Things I Miss About Being A Student

I’m lucky in that I’ve been able to experience the working world in the knowledge that I have one more year left of student-hood, one more year before I join the real world. Let me tell you this, I’ll definitely be making the most of it! I found the jump into working life really tough, so going back to studying is something I’m really looking forward to. Leanne from The Dress Diaries has written a post all about things she misses now she’s graduated – I’m going to keep a note of these to make sure I appreciate them over the next academic year!

 photo 2014-01-20161529_zps30f7be06.jpgHi there, I’m Leanne from over at The Dress Diaries and Chloe has kindly let me guest post for her about my university experience. Some of you may have recently finished University and gone on to graduate. Firstly, congratulations, go you!

Secondly, this is where your student life ends and ‘adult’ life begins and although I’ll be the first to tell you it’s a great thing, it also means you’re leaving a few perks behind.
I’ve compiled a list of the main things I miss about being a student and if you’re lucky enough to still have some sweet student years left, don’t take these for granted!

Long, Long Holidays

A month off for Christmas, another month for Easter and over two months off when it comes to Summer. Who WOULDN’T love not having to work for a third of the entire year? Now, we’re limited to 28 days holiday a year if we’re lucky and wishing we’d spent more time making the most of so much free time instead of spending it in bed.

Student Discount

What owning an NUS card meant to me: up to 20% discounts at ASOS and Topshop, free entry into bars on a student night and super cheap drinks. Student discounts have to be the biggest perks of being at university. When I graduated, I genuinely contemplated going on to do another course just so I’d have a few more years of free cheeseburgers at McDonalds.

Tears still well up every time the girl at the Topshop counter asks if I have a student card and I have to admit to her, and myself, the truth…
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The Casual Timetable

The thing I miss most about student life is getting entire days off mid-week that you could spend watching films, having sex and drinking. It was full of late nights and late mornings because we had no other responsibilities and a 9-5 working day was unheard of . Nowadays, all of this has to be compressed into a weekend with constant reminders of the working week looming towards you at a pace similar to Usain Bolt.

Fancy Dress is Always Appropriate

University is a time when it is absolutely acceptable to wear themed fancy dress every week. Sports team pub crawls, birthdays, results days and sometimes just because we felt like donning a leotard and some leg-warmers. Don’t even get me started on the extent to which we celebrated Halloween.

Living With Best Friends

For most people, University means leaving the comfort and safety of your parent’s home for the first time and getting used to a house full of strangers. It’s likely these strangers actually become a crowd you’re actually pretty fond of. There are people who cook for you on occasion, those who clean the kitchen after house parties and there’s always someone to get drunk with chat to. After graduation it’s likely your group will disperse and you each have your own dreams to fulfil. You can keep in touch and stalk their adventures on Facebook but it’s not the same. On the plus side, you won’t wake up to someone blasting Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ to the entire house at the end of every week – true story.

Out of all of these things, I definitely think is going to be the ‘Living with Best Friends’ bit that I will miss most. I’m living with two lovely girls during my final year, I lived with them in second year and have missed them like crazy over the past couple of months. It will be great to go back to having a girly household, Sunday dinners every week, and plenty of nail polishes to borrow! I’m already dreading leaving them next summer…

What’s your favourite bit about university, or what do you miss the most?