Stress is seen to be an inevitability in school, and in a way it is; it’s something everyone stumbles upon at some point in their school career, but it doesn’t have to be the all-encompassing factor during school that many people suggest it is. I am a naturally stressy person, regardless of the time of year, and around exam or deadline time I become 70 percent stress and 30 percent cake, which isn’t all that fun for my friends to be around. Yet, over the time I’ve spent in education, I’ve learnt that there are ways that work for me to deal with stress, and that other people have other ways and you just have to let people do their thing. I’ve got friends who will shut themselves in silent rooms and just slave away continually, in every free and every waking moment of their time at home, and friends who will put everything off until the very last second because they simply don’t want to have to face their workload. Procrastination isn’t always the best method, it can make people far more stressed, but after 4 years of taking textiles I learnt that I am someone who works far better under pressure and I now leave everything to the very last minute, and other people think I’m mad as a result, but it is something which helps me combat the stress that builds up around exam time. Some schools give study leave around exam periods, and people have found that planning your days at home around the school day help them. Continuing to get up at 7 in the morning may seem torturous but it means that you’re more likely to be productive rather than sluggish and tired, and that means that that huge amount of revision will be whittled down far more quickly than you’d expect, but all of this depends on the sort of person you are – it’s all trial and error at first.
Dealing with the stress of assignments and exams is something very very personal to each individual, but it can be done (even if sometimes it feels like it can’t be), and it is often a case of simply working with other people. Near exams it has to be expected that at least one person a day is going to lose their temper or cry because of stress; so if a friends seems overwhelmingly negative or moody a week before their exam don’t take it as a personal hit but rather offer a word of encouragement because, in the grand scheme of things, everyone is in the same boat. It’s not a fun boat to be in, and it may feel like it’s going to collide into an iceberg and sink Titanic-style because of the sheer amount of stress you are under, but once you have learnt what the stern is and how to put up a sail you’ll eventually manage to glide your way to the beautiful beach of stress-free moments. Just keep at it, learn from your mistakes and master your plan of how to make stress work for you – even if that involves copious amounts of cake and the potential for violent screaming like it does for me – and make sure you don’t give up all of your social life and free time while you’re at it, everyone deserves a break once in a while. Exams and school life may feel like a brick wall of stress, but with a bit of magic and planning (think Hagrid and Diagon Alley) you can shift the wall and continue on your path.


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