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Health and Wellbeing

12 stages all students go through during exams

By Adrian 29 Apr 2021

It's that word that no one is allowed to mention...exams! (sorry)

That dreaded time of year is upon us, unfortunately! But seeing as we are in full swing of the exam period maybe you'll find some humour in recognising a few of these emotional stages (or all of them)...

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1. Denial. 

'I've got loads of time', is definitely something you've been telling yourself. You'll soon come to regret this in a couple of weeks - start early!

2. Acceptance. 

The realisation has sunk in and it's not a good feeling, it's time to get up out of bed and drag yourself to the library.

3. Determination. 

Wow, you've woken up before 11am, today is the day you'll conquer a full day of revision. Exams? Easy! 

Exam GIF

4. Procrastination. 

But first, you need to make a detailed and brightly coloured revision timetable right? And after that's taken you an hour, it must be time for a break? Soon you're halfway down your brothers, neighbours, best friends, uncles Instagram...

5. Stress. 

Once you've knuckled into the work and started to learn the first topic a sudden feeling of panic and stress takes over. This was more than you thought, you'll never learn all of this in time?!

6. Focus. 

"OK pull yourself together, you can do this' you tell yourself. The determination is back and you are focused on getting this done - you'll smash those exams.

Exam GIF

7. Teariness.  

Here come the waterworks. We all could do with a good cry every once in a while and after you've convinced yourself you're doomed, this is your time - let it all out.

8. Calm. 

Just breathe! Your course bestie has agreed to help you with whatever you're struggling with. You knew you were friends with them for some reason!

9. Boredom. 

You feel like you've been revising for years. You just wish the exams would hurry up so you could get them out the way, and go back to living the student lifestyle.

Boredom GIF

10. Anger. 

All your housemates have finished and they are off out celebrating. But who has to stay in to revise still? You guessed it.

11. Silent excitement. 

Ticking off your completed deadline and exams on your 'detailed and brightly coloured revision timetable', just one more to go and then you're FREE!

12. Actual excitement. 

The feeling you get when you think your hand is going to fall off but you put your final full stop at the end of the exam. You did it!

Exams? Completed it!

Celebrate Millie Bobby Brown GIF by Converse

It will all be over soon, keep up the hard work, you can do it!

Adrian profile picture

Adrian is a medical doctor, the University of London Student Health & Wellbeing Manager, and the Warden of Connaught Hall. He is passionate about advancing equality, diversity, and inclusion. Adrian's interests include fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and insight meditation, medical education, social psychology, and human factors / crisis resource management.
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