Posted: 11 Dec. 2017 4 min. read

How I cope with exam stress

Life throws at us different challenges, and like the unique humans we are, we all deal with them differently, but one distinct commonality is that we all feel stress. Whether it’s personal, work related, or dealing with the pressures of exams, stress is a normal part of life. Oluseyi shares with us his strategy of coping with exam stress.

From my school years to my job today, the demands of life have developed in varied ways, and how I deal with it has also moved on. There are many technical and practical approaches to coping with stress such as exercise, talking, sleep, rest - all extremely important steps. But I would like to impart my personal take on stress.

Acing your exams is important, but your mental health is more important. Sometimes it takes a big step back to look at things objectively, and realise the situation for what it is. Being so focussed and wrapped up in exams can warp your perception of your capabilities, and the situation. By taking a moment to realise this, you can gain a clearer perspective that can help ease your mind.

I use to believe that my whole fate rested on exam results. And in some ways it did, perhaps I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t attained the grades that I had. But maybe the alternative wouldn’t have been so bad, and it most definitely wouldn’t have been as bad as I had imagined. The fundamental difference between how I dealt with pressure then and now, is the level of stress I allow myself to feel based on the level of importance I bestow on a situation. 

Stress is hard to control, and at times nearly impossible to avoid. It’s not that I simply choose not to feel stress – I’d be blind in thinking it’s that easy. But looking at the larger picture helps me place my stress in a more manageable box.

Today in my job, I have learnt to approach the pressures of work quite differently. I am driven to excel in my projects, and with that comes a degree of stress. But what keeps me at a strong point is that I follow the values that my health and happiness is of utmost importance. Being consumed by work pressures is simply not productive, and not worth it. Having these values intact keeps me loving what I do, overseeing the pressures, and focussed on the ultimate goal.

Ambition is a great motivation, but fear is not. By taking a step back you can let go some of the pressure and stress that can overwhelm you during exams. Your health and happiness comes first. Once you take care of that, then the other parts can follow.

Sign up for the latest updates