Stress Management During Exams

Life is not a bed of roses. There are struggles at every point in life. So, the beauty of life lies in how beautifully and artistically one handles the various situations that one come across in his or her life. In the series of struggles, the struggle is to become independent, to establish one’s identity, to meet ones’ life goals. And the process of becoming capable starts with the person taking birth. With birth, only he or she is taken care of, and family starts teaching various things and aspects of life.

But the real process starts with formal education. With the start of formal education from schools, there starts the process of exams. So the skill gaining and testing keep going on. Going through school education, not only students but their parents remain stressed out until and unless the performance comes out to be satisfactory. Be it the primary education or the board exams, the presence of stress remains there. After the school is passed the next level brings more responsibility as there comes the question of getting good colleges for higher education so that good exposure can be gained and good placement can take place. Getting a good percentage will get you in a good DU college like Hindu College, Shriram college, etc. So after boards get over the 24*7 study pattern of students to crack IIT, medical exams start and the stress level reaches its peak. There have been many cases of adolescents committing suicides out of exam pressure or due to not being able to get into the top-notch college or university.

Even if a person gets into a good college, the race remains on. The race to get a job, the race to crack placement exams, the race to crack the Civil service exam, or any other government employment exam. So the goals get divided into two i.e. to get a means of livelihood and to fulfill one's dreams. There remains cut-throat competition at every stage. And with the level of competition and the level of responsibilities, expectations increase and thus the level of stress.

So it is clear that stress or tension is there at every stage of life, in every phase of the exam. The causes of stress at any level of exams are more or less common. Some of which are:

  • Performance pressure is there at every stage, be it school, college or looking for a job.
  • Performance pressure naturally comes from societal expectations, parents’ expectations, peer pressure, and the self zeal to fulfill one's dreams.
  • At adolescent age, there is a psychological urge to achieve more, to get recognition attention, etc. which brings stress.
  • The uncertainties of the future in this competitive world are one of the many factors and are present at every stage.
  • The responsibilities of a person towards his/her family.
  • Cut-throat competition with more applicants and less number of jobs is also one of the reasons.

So one thing is clear that stress is a body’s response to any challenge faced in life, and it occurs because of uncertainties that lie in the future. So stress is natural and an implicit part of human life and emotions. Stress helps one to remain alert and move in the right direction towards meeting one's life goals. But it is positive until it remains positive and within the tolerable limit. One should always remember that good and evil are two sides of the same coin. The greatest good can turn into the greatest evil when the balance between the two is not maintained. And that is why the word stress management is used rather than stress elimination.

To manage exam stress is an art and everyone has their creativity to handle this stress. However, there are some common tips which can help win over the excessive exam stress, which are as follows-

  • One needs to have an assertive or positive attitude towards life. One should remember that exams are for life; life is not for exams.
  • Students should have and should be inculcated with a positive attitude towards exams. Exams make a person able to face challenges in life, and exams make them strong.
  • Stress can be managed when one believes in Nishkam Karma of Bhagvat Gita i.e. do your duty rather than thinking of the results. If applied to school students or at any level, it means that the person should focus on the timely preparation of exams, do more and more practice rather than waiting for the last minute moment.
  • The art of stress management lies in managing one’s body and mind. You should direct your mind rather than your cravings regulating your mind. For this, meditation is the best source. Daily meditation not only makes the concentration strong but also increases memory and analytical powers. It gives peace of mind.
  • During exams, healthy and simple food habits are helpful rather than junk food. However, it does not mean that one can't have a bite of pizza once a month.
  • Regular exercise or sports activity keeps one’s body and mind active for the whole day and is also helpful in a sound sleep, which again helps in stress management.
  • During exams, one should not restrict oneself in a room and study all day. Rather social interactions with family and friends keep depressive tendencies away.
  • Parents need to understand the pressure that the child is facing and should motivate him/ her to pursue learning rather than focusing on getting more marks. Regular counselling of parents and children is also helpful in managing stress.
  • There is a need that educational institutes and coaching institutes regularly organize recreational events and activities, including interactive and motivational sessions for the aspirants.

In the end, it needs love for one's life to handle the stress. If one is unable to succeed in achieving one's goals, then there are many other options available. The need is to be optimistic and looking ahead in life. If one path is closed, then there are many other paths to move on. Though the destination can be different, but may be more beautiful. In the end, the journey is more beautiful and important than the destination.

एक अरमान

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                                         - प्रियंका चौधरी