The day you’ve been waiting for is creeping up on you, but now what?
You’ve already done all the coursework and did your best in the exam, but you can’t help replaying it in your head. Maybe your friends have mentioned different answers to the ones you gave, and everything feels like it’s starting to spiral.
Breathe. Results Day stress is very normal.
The first thing to realise is that everyone feels the same. Whether they say it or not is a different story, but it is perfectly normal to feel a little stressed about your results. You’ve worked so hard, and this course is important to you. So, of course, you’re going to wonder if you’ve done enough to get the grades you want.
There is nothing you can do to change the work you’ve done, so now it’s time to manage your stress levels and focus on what you can do.
Remember, you have options. You never have to feel alone in this. In fact, while you’re at uni, you really are in the best place to learn how to cope with stress in a safe way.
Take care of your physical health.
A lot of research into stress management focuses on the power of exercise. Taking a brisk walk in the fresh air or spending twenty minutes blasting out your favourite tunes on a stationary bike can release some of that pent-up energy and flood your brain with much-needed endorphins.
Getting regular exercise can promote a more positive mindset and may also help you feel a greater sense of control over your mind and body.
It can also help with the next point.
Get regular sleep.
We all know how important sleep is, and ideally, you should be getting between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. Sometimes life gets in the way of that, especially when we’re stressed.
But there is a wealth of research which highlights the benefits of a quick nap to recharge your brain during the day. If you struggle to doze off, try listening to a guided meditation, ASMR channels on YouTube, or rain sounds.
Even if you don’t manage to get into a deep sleep, allowing your brain half an hour of quiet can really help to boost your mood and relieve some stress.
Plan for the day.
You can’t avoid results day, so planning can help it go as smoothly as possible. If you’re a student from overseas, it probably isn’t possible for your family to be there with you. But maybe you could have them on the phone for moral support, or perhaps a friend or roommate could be with you when you receive your grades.
On the day, try to take care of yourself. Get a shower, have some breakfast, and put on your lucky pants if that’ll help.
Remember that you did your best, and whatever the outcome, you should feel proud for getting this far.
Know when to ask for help.
If your stress is impacting your day-to-day life and you can’t seem to get it under control, talk to somebody.
The university has student support services, and they are well-versed in dealing with results anxiety. You could also discuss it with your teacher, friends, family, or another trusted individual. If, for whatever reason, you don’t have that support, you can always call the Samaritans (Freephone: 116-123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) they are open 24 hours a day and will always listen.
Remember, one bad result isn’t the end of the world.
It might feel like the worst thing ever if you don’t get the result you want. But just take a moment and try to remove yourself from the situation.
One thing to always keep in mind; university isn’t all about grades; it’s about learning in every way possible. You’re finding out how to cope with the highs and the lows, and that is going to take you much farther in life than one exam grade ever will.