In a special guest blog, we've invited final year Maths students, Nia Patel, to share some advice on how to look after your mental health during exam season.
Students, exam season can be tough, particularly when it comes to mental health.
Revision schedules, working part-time, worrying about whether you’ll be able to progress or graduate – these are all factors that can contribute to poor mental health during that scary May-June period.
I know how that feels. I’ve been there with suffering mental health during my exams. However, there are some tips and tricks that I’ve come across that have really helped me throughout every exam season at university, and I’m going to share them with you today.
Even if it helps just one person who’s struggling with their mental health, I’ll be happy.
A technique I’ve found to be really useful when studying is the Pomodoro method. Here’s how it works:
This technique helps me to remain productive throughout the day, whilst still ensuring that I’m taking regular breaks and therefore avoiding burnout before exams have even begun.
In the lead up to your exams, I’d also recommend creating a revision plan or schedule for the exam season. This will help you plan your studying according to when your exams are, and it’ll also allow you to visualize when you can fit in studying alongside other commitments such as meeting friends and family, society events or part-time work.
When your exams start, it’s so easy to let your mental health slip to the bottom of the priority list.
In reality, if you let your mental health and wellbeing suffer during your exams, it could adversely impact your performance and motivation throughout.
Here are my top tips to look after your mental health DURING your exams:
So, you’ve just finished an exam. If it went well – hooray! You smashed it.
But what about if it didn’t go so well?
This is one of the things I struggle with most during exams. When an exam doesn’t go that well or wasn’t how you expected it to be, I often find myself slipping into this mindset of worry and anxiety, and it plays on my mind throughout the day.
That said, I have learnt a few things at university that have helped me with these feelings. So if you also struggle with this after an exam, here’s my tips and tricks for getting through it:
Never hesitate to seek professional support for your mental health if you need it. The School of Mathematical Sciences has a designated Mental Health and Wellbeing group, including a number of trained Mental Health First Aiders. You can learn more about Me + We and the supports they offer here. If you prefer to seek help outside of the School and University, here are some numbers you can call if you ever need to:
I hope this blog post has been useful for you! Remember to protect your mental health and wellbeing this exam season.
Wishing you the best of luck for your upcoming exams! You’ve got this.