It’s that time of year, the sun is out (even if just briefly), college balls and other events are all on, and the craic is 90. But there are whispers of that dreaded time next month… Exam Season. If you’re like me, you probably shush anyone that mentions it, and feel a knot forming in your stomach at the thought of exams. But it’s not all bad. You have over a month left to get the head down and get studying. In fact, the mild amount of stress you feel is not necessarily a bad thing. There is actually an optimal amount of stress- just enough to motivate you to start studying. Now, when it comes up to a few days before your exam and you just can’t be dealing- that’s when it becomes a problem. But there are ways of managing your mental health around exam time.
- First of all, know the supports available. There is always someone to listen if you need a chat, and the counselling service are great for that. Síona, the Welfare Officer is also great to talk to. Your lecturers are also there to listen. If you’re a bit lost, go to the office hours and ask questions, that’s what they’re there for. If you have a diagnosed mental health problem, the Access Office may be able to offer you exam accommodations. The Writing Centre is also great if you need a bit of help with structuring essays.
- You can also talk to your friends. It’s important to take breaks between study and it’s no harm meeting up with a mate for a cup of tea and a chat (they’ll probably be glad of it too!) If you’re in the same course, you could even meet up and study together.
- Speaking of breaks, it’s worth making a timetable and setting time to study and time to chill out, because that’s just as important. This can help make sure you get as much study as you want done but it also ensures that you take breaks between, so you don’t burn out.
- It’s important to look after your physical health as well, because a healthy body = a healthy mind. Try get a bit of light exercise during your breaks- even 20 minutes will do you the world of good. If you study in the library, take a walk around South Campus, there are some lovely places to walk around or even just chill out. All-nighters can actually do more harm than good. During sleep, your memories are strengthened, so aim for the full 8 hours to make the most of your revision. Try not to forget to eat too, you need it to stay focused. Bonus points for fruit!
- Remember that exams aren’t the Most Important Thing in The World. If you don’t do as well as you’d hoped, there are always ways around things- and the academic advisory office can help you sort things out. No matter how you do in exams, you are not your grade.
- You got this.
MU Counselling: (01) 708 3554
Niteline: 1800 793 793
Síona: (087) 753 0225 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Academic Advisory: (01) 708 3368 / email@example.com
Writing Centre: firstname.lastname@example.org
Access Office: Drop in and ask about services or register here: https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/study-maynooth/supporting-students-disabilities/how-register