I am back to blogging weekly and I have such a fun filled summer ahead of me, so hopefully this page will be full.
The last month or so has been full of exams and exam revision- which has been super tedious, and of course there was very little to blog about! I basically became a couch/desk potato. But a really stressed one.
In today’s blog I am going to talk about how I react to the pressure of exams and I am going to be brutally honest, I get pretty worked up.
STAYING ON TOP OF THINGS
- Having sat GCSE’s, A Levels and First Year University exams, I can definitely see a pattern in the way I react. I can get quite a stress head and, honestly, melt downs are inevitable. If anything, I think it’s kind of healthy to have a panic sometimes. It sort of forces me to talk to people about how much work I have and how I feel, but also makes me put a plan in place.
- With my closest friends at University, I have also discovered that this is not unusual- which is always reassuring. I know for sure that they have had a funny five, where everything seems too much. So talking to friends definitely helps, because half the time they feel just as unprepared for exams or assessments as you do!
- I have to have down time. Some of my friends can work from the minute they get up, to the minute they fall asleep- not me! I like to go to the gym, talk to people and if I can I’ll avoid having lunch on my own. University during exam season, especially when you live off of campus, can be quite lonely. So making sure I had human contact at least once a day was really important to me.
TAKING BACK CONTROL
- During exams, I often end up feeling like I don’t have my crap together, which is really not a good way to feel. So I like to take back control of aspects of my life- it’s a control strategy.
- I like to pamper myself, I will work until an hour before bed (unless I am hella stressed) and will paint my nails, fake tan or do something simple like shave my legs! Then when I wake up the next day, even if my work load seems impossible, I look like I’ve got control.
- Also- everyone else thinks you have your crap together too!
How my body reacts
- This sounds like such a weird subtitle but actually I notice several differences in myself when I am under pressure.
- I had a massive break out during my exam period, which was mega frustrating, but on the bright side- I became a social recluse so I could walk around bare faced and let my face sort itself out most days without feeling self-conscious. I found that the Clinique products, in particular the face foam, was really good at countering this face explosion of yuck.
- Carrying a few more pounds. It’s never nice feeling chubba during exams (or afterwards!), but I had to prioritise and revision took precedent. I just tried to go to the gym or for a run at least three times a week and tried not to give into my inner Revision Pig. Let’s face it we all have bad days, where you eat what you shouldn’t and kick yourself afterwards. But sometimes you need it!
Things just sometimes go wrong… and you just have to deal with it!
- My laptop got run over… This was potentially the low point of 2017. Or University! I am going to cut a long story short here, but basically my laptop was left propped against a fence at the back of my house while I was moving out. And not in the boot with the rest of my belongings. Then I assume someone picked it up and attempted to get into it, gave up and threw it in the middle of the road with my chargers. Even writing this the butterflies and sense of panic are coming back- it was awful. What’s worse is I didn’t even realise. For over 24 hours. Until my flat mate text me saying that someone turned up at the front door with my beaten up laptop. Luckily, minimal damage has happened but boy did I feel terrible (and completely stupid). Despite the smashed up chargers and dented laptop, it did, and does, function, but definitely needs to be sent off for repairs. Low point of University for sure. And biggest ‘blonde moment’ to date.
- My spinny chair- a far less significant incident, but nonetheless a right pain in the butt. Two of the wheels on my spinny chair fell off right in the middle of revision, which despite improving my core muscles, was not cool. I tried to twizzle them back on, but the majority of revision took place while balancing on the remaining three wheel. Sh*t happens.
Hay fever + Exams = Hives on face.
- The night before my toughest exam, I got very worked up about how little I felt I knew and was freaking out about how important the exam was. Once again, long story short, the mixture of hayfever and stress led to me calling my Mum (who obviously would know what to do) at 11pm to work out what had set it off. We came to the conclusion that it was merely hayfever and stress, but it was proper unnerving to look at. I even woke up with hives the next morning, so went to the exam looking like I’d been poking a wasps nest.
I think the underlying theme here is: stress is not pretty. But usually its short lived and you have to manage it the best you can.
So that’s my exam period experience- everyone’s is unique, but most people will agree, it’s never fun!