I am one who can get stressed very easily and very quickly, especially when it comes to workloads and upcoming deadlines. At A-level I was a complete mess when it came to my stress levels, (imagine stress levels going through the roof, but not just stopping at the roof- then making a one trip journey to the Stratosphere and beyond) but I think the worst part was that I didn’t realize how bad it was until I looked back on that time a few months later.
Since being at university, and since A-levels in general, my stress levels have been no where near as bad as they were then, which is great because I never want to go through that again. However, I have learned that I am able to use stress to motivate me to actually be productive and get work done, which I suppose, at the end of the day, is why we get stressed.
Next week is the start of what my uni calls the exam weeks, where we have three weeks of any final assignments that are due in. I have one essay due in the first week (next Tuesday) and on the same morning I get my take-away exam* paper released. I then have a week to write my take away exam, but the day before that is due in, another essay is due in. And then on Friday the 19th May, I have a presentation which will be my final assessment of the year. If you’ve done the maths, you’ll have worked out that three out of four of my assignments are due in the same week.
I’m really feeling quite calm right now because I’ve worked on staying organised and making sure that I get things done in advanced. I’ve never really been one to stick to my own schedules, but everyone works differently. I have written (in full) the two essays that are due in, though they are still very much drafts, so that means I can focus on the exam when the time comes, and I don’t have to worry about writing three essays and about six thousand words in about a week. I think this is the only reason I’m not stressing out right now and part of me is worrying a little bit, because I feel like at this point in the term I should be stressing out…
But that’s probably because of my experience from A-levels. I was so used to being so stressed out over revision, I didn’t realize that it was actually unhealthy for me. Revision or writing essays or preparing for presentations doesn’t have to be as stressful as it may seem, as long as you are able to stay on top of your work in advance, and give yourself enough time to prepare. Also, I make the use out of my lecturers as much as possible- for the first essay that’s due in, we had to give anonymous peer feedback on each others essays or plans, but I have also sent a copy to my lecturer for even more feedback.
The point of this is not to scare anyone who is feeling overwhelmed right now, because I completely get it. If you feel like you’re behind on your work or revision, it’s so easy to get blinded by stress and then you can’t always think straight. But make sure you take breaks, remember to breathe, and remember that your grades don’t define you. Use any stress to make your work the best it can be.
You got this.