Stress

It’s the middle of exam season. Students across the country are busy procrastinating on the internet and worrying about the imminent doom that seems headed their way should they not get their act together; only they’re not.

My university seems incredibly intent on “managing” and “reducing” stress among its students. My university email’s inbox is filled with spam regarding certain talks about how to manage stress and taking time to yourself with very little of anything else. It really solidifies the feeling that, above all, the university doesn’t care about what we’re learning.

I’m 20. This is my second year of university. I do maths, which is, arguably, one of the most difficult subjects to take and, considering that it is almost entirely based on exams, I should be feeling a lot more stressed than I am, at least according to my university. Instead I am feeling relatively confident in my abilities and I find myself capable, if I have had a bad day or if I have done poorly in an exam, to brush myself down and conclude that the dawn will come, regardless of how I have fared in my test. In reality, I also feel that those days are few and far between for me and, all-in-all, my exams have gone pretty well thus far.

I feel that people in my position should also be able to take this stance and should be capable of dealing with stress. In fact, what I want from the university is more talks on the best revision strategies. I just find myself incapable of understanding the mentality of invalids who require two or three different talks or sessions on dealing with stress per week. If they’re like that then they probably shouldn’t be at university, they should be doing something menial that requires no level of responsibility or investment from them whatsoever.

Everyone gets stressed and I understand the need for people to learn how to relax, but I feel that university is trying to hide that fact from people. I feel that this way of thinking has a lot in common with the idea of universities creating “safe spaces” for people. Where people can’t have a civilised debate about things like transgender issues or depression because you don’t want to “trigger” someone. People need to learn to deal with it. Not everything in life with sunshine and flowers, at times everyone will need to deal with people who disagree with them and being able to talk about issues and being able to deal with them while knowing you are in a so-called “safe space” is the best way to prepare.

However, maybe this is me talking from some kind of high horse. I realise that I am good with stress and I realise that I am good with exams, so these sessions aren’t aimed at me. I just feel that, pretending that the main worry about exams is how stressed you will feel is the wrong attitude. Once you finish exams and emerge from the other side, whether they have gone well or poorly, you can take time to yourself then. If you’ve tried your best, or even if you have decided along the way that university is not for you, you can decide how to deal with that afterwards, whether that is celebration, preparing for retakes or just taking a break and doing something menial or fun. How stressed you were, once you have your degree or once you’ve taken the next step in your life, will seem trivial and barely worth mentioning because you know it was in aid of something worthwhile.

I have two exams left. My apologies for the lack of updates recently, I will be able to write more once this week is out of the way.

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