There is a stereotypical pressure put on students to achieve high results in exams but one of the leading negative impacts of this is that any form of selfcare usually goes out the window whilst students are prioritizing time spent on study or worrying about exams. Students often spend a lot of time doubting themselves as a result of their worth being so closely linked to their level of productivity. This pressure can lead to serious health problems either physically or mentally, a prime example being burnout. (Click here to read our article on the signs of burnout).
Exam results do not define you. However, if you do not make time for your wellness, you will be forced to take time for your illness. The remainder of this article will dive into how you can mind yourself a little better during these upcoming examinations:
Not neglecting your personal care during exam season can make a big difference in how you feel towards yourself. When you look good, you feel good, you feel confident. You deserve to feel confident walking into your exams as you HAVE put in so much work, you are prepared. Keeping yourself clean, brushing your hair, wearing something that makes you feel good etc. all help you OWN your confidence.
· Eat & Hydrate
Students often go into survival mode and live off energy bars and sports drinks. They are short-term solutions. Being mindful of the nutrients you put into your body during this time is crucial for maximizing your energy with long-term effects. For example, a protein filled lunch with some veggies might be a better way to enter your exam, full and sharp with plenty energy to keep you going for a few hours.
Exercise is a great way of releasing any negative energy from the body, among the multitude of other benefits it has for you. However, some students may feel that they have no time or energy to do a whole workout but the important thing to remember is that it can be whatever you feel you need. Exercise isn’t just a 30-minute hit workout or a small run. Exercise is movement. If moving your body means secretly pretending you can dance to you, that still counts! Move whatever way that makes your soul happy and gives your brain a breather for a minute.
Schedule time doing your hobbies / spending time with the people in your life. There’s 24 hours in a day, you have the 30 minutes to have a break. Your exams don’t have to take over your whole life. You deserve to have breaks!
· Mind Your Mind
Meditate / practice mindfulness (You can also do this during exams in our quiet rooms situated on each campus). Journal. Practice positive self-talk using some affirmations. Being kind to yourself during this time is so necessary. The last thing you need on top of all your stress is to be bullied, so treat yourself like someone you love!
On that note… If you find that these exams are having too much of a negative impact on your well-being, please feel welcome to contact the relevant health services that are FREE on your campus:
· Tallaght Campus:
Health Centre – firstname.lastname@example.org / 01 220 7739
Counselling – email@example.com
· Blanchardstown Campus:
Health Centre – firstname.lastname@example.org / 087 188 1336
Counselling – email@example.com
· City Campus:
Health Centre – firstname.lastname@example.org / 01 220 5700
Counselling – email@example.com / 086 0820543
We at TU Dublin Students Union wish you the very best of luck in your exams! Please remember that you have worked hard to get to this point. If you find yourself panicking during the exams try some deep breathing exercises like the “4,7,8” method. After your exam, please remember to put it down and leave it in the exam hall, don’t bring the stress home with you. Exams don’t define you or your worth. You’ve done your best and that’s what matters the most. Now go treat yourself for all your hard work!