Friday, 4 January 2019

Exams and Mental Health

So it's exam season in university.

It is no secret that with exams comes stress, and that stress then puts a strain on your mental health. No matter what exam you are sitting, whether it be a GCSE, an A-level or a university exam, the pressure to do well is always there.

I am not one to do well under pressure, which is why exams are pretty much my arch enemy. The amount of stress my A-levels caused me really did have a toll on my mental health and I found it hard over the two years, year 13 especially. I struggled with the motivation to actually get up out of bed and revise because of the looming fear that I was going to fail. I cannot count the amount of times I broke down due to the stress becoming too much, and I was not alone. Me and my friends were all going through the same. Also, me being a perfectionist never helps the situation. You never feel that you are good enough for anything and there is always that one person who is doing better than you, no matter how many hours you put into your work. It leads you to question your own ability. Just because you struggle with something, it does not mean that you are worthless.

One thing that needs to be realised is that when it comes to exams one specific grade doesn't define you. Your mental health and well-being is more important than a single grade. Mental breakdowns should not become a part of the daily life of a student. However the mental health of students is still worsening as we struggle to cope with the constant pressure on our shoulders, to become 'the best of the best' so that we achieve the 'dream career'.

But at what cost?

More needs to be done to help students struggling with their mental health. No one should have to suffer in silence during stressful times and with more recognition on the scale of this issue hopefully less people with have to go through a similar experience as me.

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