Freedom from exams sounds sweet. It’s something we’ve all dreamed of - maybe it’s even the one thing that got us through the month of May. Knowing, hoping, that this stress and anxiety wouldn’t last forever. But now that they are over, it really isn’t that simple.
The problem is that being ‘done’ with exams, isn’t the same as being free. Because until August, we won’t actually know how we did. And that means that that tension hasn’t left us. People say that you should forget about it, ignore it, it’s done. But I think I speak for most students when I say, it’s really not that easy.
So, I thought I’d share some ways that I’m using to get through the summer ‘holidays’.
Plan the next step.
You can’t stop yourself from thinking about the past but by focusing on the next steps you will be able to distract yourself. You’ll be focusing on something that can be, or at least feel, infinitely more positive – the future. When I finished my second year, I spent the summer outlining my course plan for the following year and getting through some of the key readings. As this last year was (hopefully) my final, I’m spending my time working on things that will extend and apply what I spent the last three years learning.
Sort through all your notes, get rid of the excess material.
This depends on the situation- at times it can help but sometimes it can make things worse. So, you have to judge whether it’ll work to help with the nerves or exacerbate them. For me, the nerves depend on which module I am sorting through and how comfortable I was with my performance. The reason that it really helps is because it reminds you how much work you did! It’s easy to forget how many hours you spent reading, writing and analysing when you get caught up with nerves- sorting through all your notes can give you that boost of confidence that you crave over the summer!
Find things that distract you- things that send you into a ‘zone’ and stops you from thinking.
What you do here is a matter of personal preference. Watching TV doesn’t help me that much- it’ll pass the time but it doesn’t stop my mind from going at 50 miles per hour. But listening to some of my favourite sound tracks as I walk, fast, helps me to get rid of the nerves and go into a ‘zone’ which leaves me feeling a lot better about life! I really hope this helps! And I’d love to hear how you all cope with the summer.
Iman is studying the BSc in Politics and International Relations in Pakistan.