5 Tips to Help You Cope with Deadline Stress
Throughout the academic year, students have to put in a lot of hours studying, researching and writing papers and essays. With deadlines always looming in the horizon, it is often natural for students to get stressed and panic. The tips given below will help you plan your time wisely and cope with stress successfully:
1. Plan and prioritize
If you organize and plan well in advance, you will be able to avoid stressful situations. Know what needs to be done, calculate how long each task will take and factor in all non-coursework related tasks that require your attention. Knowing how to set priorities is a part of good organization. Make schedules and timetables that will allow you to keep track of your time effectively.
2. Recognize stress
Recognizing the symptoms of stress will allow you to do something about it quickly. Unless you recognize that there is a problem and acknowledge it, you won’t be able to deal with it. Serious stress can lead to depression and can have many recognizable symptoms like blurred vision, increased irritability, anxiety, poor appetite, tiredness and difficulty in sleeping. If you notice signs of stress, talk to a friend or a family member. Talking about issues is often enough to relieve tension.
A good night’s sleep has many benefits. Sleep allows the body to rest and recovers itself. Sleeping at least 8 hours each night will allow you to feel refreshed so you can work on your essay or your thesis with renewed energy. Most students stay up all night to cram for exams or to finish their essays as the deadlines gets closer but sleep is one of the best ways to avoid stress during an academic year.
Another excellent way to prevent stress is exercise. Exercising provides a stimulating effect and when combined with a healthy diet, it ensures that the body and mind are better equipped to deal with stress. With time constraints, students are often tempted to avoid exercise but it can be a mistake. With good organization and planning it is possible to easily balance work with exercise as well as relaxation.
5. Learn to enjoy your work
One of the main reasons why students often get stressed is because they do not dedicate enough time to themselves. Having fun is just as important as turning in papers before the deadline. Studying doesn’t always have to be serious. Students can still be creative to make their time at university interesting and fun. While it can be a lot of fun to read and learn new things, it is equally important to socialize and meet new people. Put in some time each week to make new friends, discover their thoughts and opinions and build relationships since it will ultimately put you at ease.
While these tips will help you cope with stress in most cases, when you feel overwhelmed it is best to seek medical advice. Most universities today offer counseling and support that you can take advantage of.
Overcoming exam fear
Exam fear is caused by one of following reasons:
- Pressure from parents to score high
- Fear of failing or scoring less in comparison to friends
- Not being well-prepared
It is crucial for a student or his/her parents to identify the reason and help overcome exam fear. It has many adverse effects on the student’s performance, such as:
- Scoring less marks than could’ve been scored
- Forgetfulness during exam
- Feeling of failure
Follow these steps to overcome exam fear and improve performance in exams:
Students try to cram all the study in the last few days or hours. This prevents them from retaining everything consequently making them fearful of the exam. Ensure that you study a little everyday or go through what you did in class after coming home. Studying an hour each day also helps in remembering things when you eventually start preparing.
When you sit down to prepare for exams, make it a point to make notes which will help in revisions. Having well-prepared notes will ensure that you do not have to go through the entire material again. Be sure not to leave out anything while preparing. Students usually tend to leave out things which don’t seem important. Remember, an exam is to test your learning and memory, the examiner can ask anything.
While studying, don’t think you can do everything in one go. Take small study breaks in between to relax your mind and retain what you have gone through. When you resume studying, remove any distractions and focus on the material alone. Be sure to study in a quiet, calm environment. Don’t choose a place where other people in the family hang out. It will cause disruptions in your studying.
Have a proper sleep the night before exam. Don’t stay awake the night before; learning, reading, memorizing, or revising. Complete your revision and study, before time. Students usually make the mistake of staying late and studying, but understand this: relaxing your mind before exam will not make you forget anything, but rather help you in retaining and extracting it better when the exam paper comes in front.
Learn, Not Memorize
The mistake many students make is, they memorize things. What you as a student must understand is that memorizing will not help you in any way. If it gets you through the exam, it will definitely not get you through life. Understanding what you are reading is the proper learning; it will stay with you throughout life and help you in further learning.
If you start feeling stressed in between the exam or before, relax yourself. Take deep breaths and contract and stretch your muscles. This really helps some students in relaxing and won’t take more than a minute or two. It will help alleviate your fear and clear doubts from your mind. Also, think positive always. Convince yourself that you can do it and you will not fail or lag behind. You are just as smart as everyone else.
Thoroughly Read the Paper
Before you start attempting the paper, read it once thoroughly and completely. Mark the questions you know the best and attempt those first. Organize your thoughts and points for each question and then start writing it down. Take into account the marks allotted to each question and maintain your answer length accordingly. This will help you manage your time well and ensure that you don’t leave any question out due to time shortage.
Always remember, preparation is the way to overcoming half your fear. Any remaining stress will automatically alleviate once you realize that you know all or maximum parts of the question paper. Understand that exams are part of life and you can never avoid them. So it’s best to overcome your fear and face it. As parents, support you child in overcoming any fear. Don’t underestimate or pressurize them in doing more than they already are. Make it a point to let them know you are there to help them and provide positive encouragement.