I set the alarm for 7:30am on a Saturday, fully planning to get up early and revise before anyone else gets up. It goes off, I grumble to myself and hit the snooze button, then decided against it and turn it off completely…Next thing I know it’s 11:30am and a McDonalds in West Quay is calling. This, of course, turns into an afternoon of window shopping for things I can’t afford, but I say to myself, ‘that’s fine, I’ll just do some work tonight.’ I get in from West Quay and get a text about going out tonight – it’s someone’s birthday, I can’t let them down…
And so it continues – procrastination at its finest. We all do it, there’s no escaping it. It has a hold over us students like no other concept in the world. And it strikes at the worst times – namely, exam period. This subsequently causes an enormous amount of stress when it comes to revision, or lack thereof. However, there are those who do spend all day and all night revising, and yet still feel the pressure of exams despite all their time spent in the library or their rooms.
Research conducted by studentbeans.com from June 2011 states that 61% of students surveyed suffered from insomnia, the most common symptom of stress. Just over half suffered from migraines, and a worrying 8% of students admitted to taking medication for anxiety. Their Exam Stress Survey, which was completed online among 960 university students, encourages a fresh look at the pressure that students face when taking exams.
Although unemployment for graduates dropped to 18.9% last year (The Guardian 2011), this figure is still worrying for 21st century graduates, as employers increasingly look for first class or upper second class degrees. The world of work is gradually becoming a less than appetising experience, putting more pressure on when it comes to exams.
Does this mean that there is too much riding on three or four exams taken in the summer? Perhaps. It is certainly the case that students often agree with this. 78%* of students surveyed felt that the results of their exams would affect their chances of getting a job at the end of their degree, which paves the way for an increase in stress over revision. It is true that some university courses now additionally assess students through coursework, but for many courses exams are still worth at least 50% or more of the year.
And so revision continues to be a constant worrier for a lot of students. Yes, it is a necessary aspect of education, but the amount of pressure on students’ heads in today’s society is unnecessary, and is causing many to dread the lead up to exams. A little advice: don’t stress too much…P.S. Lavender is good for insomnia!