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Stress can help university students and can be used for exam success

Channelling stress into work can, surprisingly, have good results

As a student, circumstances change all the time; deadlines crop up and change - as do exams, assessments, and reports - as well as opportunities constantly arising to build on that all-important CV. It’s easy to see why this causes stress. Why else are students becoming known for their ability to find stress relief in strange ways? I have witnessed, for example, various people eating ice-cream for breakfast to banish the blues. For others, their blood is virtually caffeine.

When you concentrate on one thing too much, you can feel guilty about the other. On the other hand, students have said they try to, not only channel their stress into productivity, but think stress can actually help. 

Scientific studies have found stress can be good for the immune system. Great news, right? Considering this, then, what could be useful, specifically for students? Retaining knowledge for exams could become easier under acute stress. So, maybe all that exam pressure could be at your advantage after all.

Whilst, for some, exam pressure can be useful, for others, it may cause them to have ‘mind-blank’ and trouble recalling information. This is because the body goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode when faced with distressing situations. The trick is to force your body to go into fight mode.

When writing essays, it’s easy to procrastinate and turn away from the blank pages that loom before you. That is when you consider the number of words you will have written at the end or the number of pages you have to fill. It’s like looking up at the top of a mountain you have to climb: it seems daunting at the beginning but, if you look down at your feet and concentrate on each small step as it comes, you will look down and realise how far you have come. What you must do is focus on change rather than results - and it’s then you’ll see results.

Overall, use your stress to motivate you as you climb, or use your fight mode to work as hard as you can. To-do lists don’t have to be daunting when you look at each bullet point as a small and effortless step.

Finally, grab those opportunities because once you are busy doing - albeit stressing - you will build momentum and may well surprise yourself. Student life is all about working hard and grabbing opportunities. Utilise stress, build bridges, and channel energy

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