Exam Stress

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I was never one of those people who worried too much about exams. It was probably one of the only times when I was calmer than those around me. At school, I did fairly well and I felt in control when I was about to sit an exam. Looking back, I think it was a twisted desire for validation that I almost liked exams and tests. Objective proof that I was good at something.

Unfortunately, I have not been in education for a while and I have an exam coming up tomorrow afternoon which has been causing me much more anxiety than I had before. It’s not even that important, I need 12% to pass the module which should be easily achievable and even if I fail, I could still conceivably pass the year. The first year doesn’t count towards your final degree classification anyway so what am I worried about?

To be honest, finding the right place where I need to be, getting to my seat and not falling over or having my desk collapse (which people used to do on purpose at school, I guess some folks just love attention) that is causing me the most stress. I just want to get in there and get it done.

In another way, I’m kind of apprehensive because once I’ve done this, I’ll have finished my first year at university. It seems like 5 minutes ago when I was agonising about starting and the first year is less than 24 hours away from completion now. I don’t really want to go back for the summer, I like having my own room and the freedom to come and go as I please at any time of the night or whatever. I like being close to the town and not stuck between the motorway and some farms. I like not having to put on a front or be told off for shutting myself away.

The SLC wrote back to me and I have to pay the full fees again next year 😦 This means I need a job, and it brings back the fear and disheartening feelings of 2007/8 when I was out of work for long periods and was rejected time and time again. I can’t take the pressure of the real world. I’m not in crisis, this is just how I am. I don’t think I am adequately equipped to handle living as an independent human being, I can’t hack it.

Since I last posted, I’ve had some minor “triumphs” regarding my SA and could probably tick a few more items off the list of “things I’ve never done” but I feel unfulfilled and flat. It gives me no pleasure or sense of achievement. I remember reading somewhere that people with similar problems to mine see their lives as a series of lucky escapes when things go right and I can’t help but feel that is exactly what I feel.

Logically then, I should realise that maybe I am wrong. However I can’t accept this. Someone told me that they liked me as a friend and that I should stop beating myself up about things but still I cannot accept that they like me. The thing is, I don’t believe they are lying either. It’s a horrible form of cognitive dissonance and it’s highly unsettling. I can’t reconcile those two beliefs.

I’m too tired now but I want to write a proper post about things. Maybe tomorrow.

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3 thoughts on “Exam Stress

  1. Ruby Tuesday

    Hi Nick,

    Firstly, good luck for your exam today. Finding the right seat and getting settled always seems a bit fraught – but most people will probably be thinking the same thing. The transitions between home/uni are often weird. Do you have anything planned for the summer?

    It’s great that you’re experiencing some positive things recently. I guess that sometimes when we build things up to be massively problematic, achieving them doesn’t always lead to elation, more like an “is that it?”. Maybe I’m wrong.

    Take care – and I suggest treating yourself to something nice once the exam is over! x

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  2. I, too, am approaching the end of first year, just a week and a bit left. I’m finding it odd how time has passed so quickly, it just doesn’t seem right! I have to be putting on a front at home too… I don’t know how i’ll survive not having the freedom like I do now! I think trying to avoid parents is perhaps the best thing to do… Could you possibly stay in your uni town for a bit longer?
    Kate

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  3. Thanks Ruby and Kate, it went alright although I only just finished in time. I have to try and get a job over summer which I’m not looking forward too 😦 Don’t have much else planned though.

    Kate: Yeah I’m staying an extra week but I have to go back sooner or later, unfortunately haha.

    Like

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