By: Jasmine Thomas

Exam period is one of the most stressful parts of our young lives. Psychologist’ say that there is a rising number of students asking for mental and psychological help with the pressures that universities, parents and school put of young people to be A and A* students.

I recently suffered from terrible anxiety and panic attacks.  This affected my studies. But I learnt that it wasn’t the pressures that other people put on me to be the best that caused the attacks, but the pressure I put on myself.

One way I did this was I constantly compared myself to my peers and close friends. This was silly as they were studying different subjects and are different people.

Although universities and employers may judge us and compare us, we, STUDENTS, shouldn’t do it to ourselves, as it makes us focus more on other people and what they’re doing than what is supposed to be important to us. It also makes us feel negative towards our friends and ourselves if we don’t do better than them.

[quote_box_left]it wasn’t the pressures that other people put on me to be the best that cause the attacks, but the pressure I put on myself ~Jasmine Thomas. [/quote_box_left]

Our life is not a competition. If we don’t succeed, we should not give up, but try again. We have enough time,  if we rush we may fail.


I am doing another year of college not because I didn’t do well enough this year, but because my teachers in GCSE messed up my grade. For the first year of college I couldn’t move into English literature A level even after they remarked my coursework and found out I had the grade to get in, but it was too far into the course so I had to wait a year to pick it up. English is my fall back plan, I want to give myself the best opportunity succeed in what I want to do. That is why I will carry it on next year.  Even though all my friends are going university I am okay with doing what works for me. I am being the Shepherd and not the sheep. And so should you!


Here are a few tips on handling stress (they may not work for everyone but they are worth a chance):

  • Try packing your bag and getting your clothes ready the night before an exam make sure you have a few pens, pencils, a cold bottle of water and whatever other equipment you may need. This is good for two reasons first it means you’re not in a rush in the morning and can stay calm but it also means you can sleep a little bit longer as you don’t have to get up so early to get ready.
  • Have a personal help kit. For example if you suffer from headaches make sure you bring paracetamol and if you think your phones going to die bring a charger with you. This just adds a sense of relaxation as you have everything around you allowing you to focus on the important things not on the little things preventing you from doing your best.
  • Be open and talk about what is stressing you out wither it’s to your friends, family or to the four walls in your room. It sounds stupid but sometimes when you vocalize a problem you hear it and think it isn’t really as bad as it seems in your head and when talking about it you find a solution.
  • Take time for your revisions. You don’t want to pile everything on because your brain won’t retain all the information. Find the time to treat yourself maybe getting your nails done, playing football, reading a book or having a bath etc. Something that doesn’t require you going far from your work but still giving you a break. Having breaks little and often works much better than big breaks in-between big sessions of solid revision.
  • But don’t forget to find a balance between having fun and studying. Find ways of making studying fun. For instance, have a study group with people in your class. You will make new friends and learn at the same time. Go out as a reward because you can’t study after your exams but you can defiantly go out AFTER.


Good Luck!