Class induced stress is very common for students, especially during finals, examination period, etc. Depending on how much your finals are worth, the higher the stress. I find this true regardless of how hard I have been doing in the class up to this point.
However, while at the University of Stirling I have found my stress levels to be off the chart. I have most of my assignments due in the last week of November and the first week of December. This is not an issue, as I have known what my assignments are and have been working on them all semester. The issue comes from two of my three classes. The first and most daunting is my social media class. This class has been a mess from the start with no structure and has led me to so much stress. Despite asking numerous questions I was left confused with each answer I received.
Leading my group as account manager I felt as though I was leading the blind. The students I was in a group in were chosen by the lecturer based on our skills. Or in my case, I was thrown into a group that needed another member. Thus, not allowing to know who I would work best with. And this was evident from the get-go. We all had different backgrounds, as this was a compulsory course for al media students even those with no interest in marketing or public relations, and this lead to conflicting ideas of what business to pick and what direction to take our campaign.
When we finally settled on a business, what was required of us kept changing and was never clearly laid out. As someone who thrives from the structure I tried bringing what I had learned at my home campus to this project. Therefore, I delegated work thinking that we would be better prepared for when we reached out to the client. I was mistaken, and when the required work was changed on us multiple times, each time the elements not being properly explained my stress levels went haywire.
Sleepless nights and many stress-induced snacking later, I found that I had to either lower my expectations and play ball or I would drive myself up the mad. From that moment I decided that I had put in all my best work in and that I had to let my chips fall where they might. All semester nothing had been made clear to my group and I, so we had to work within the confinements of what we were given. This was so hard for me, as someone who wants to always submit their best and prove they’re in the right field I found this difficult.
My tips to letting go of the stress are:
- Realizing this one class will NOT define your entire college career. If you fail the worst that comes to is retaking the class. Hopefully the second time you can take the class with a different professor and learn what you couldn’t the first time and hopefully get the new grade replaced for the old grade.
- You are never going to please everyone. As long as you are proud of the work you put out that’s all that matters. This one is very hard to take to heart, take it from me a perfectionist, as long as you asked all the questions you could and adhere to the advice given there is nothing you can do to change the way you’re being graded. If you can look at your work and say under the circumstances it’s the best you could do, then take that as a win.
- Don’t forget to sleep and give yourself the rest you need to make it through finals. Under the stress of finals you will mostly likely pull and all-nighter (most of us have) but don’t forget that you will get through finals regardless. You have to take care of yourself not to burn out. If you can’t absorb anything else or feel like you may near a breakdown from stress give yourself a break, eat and sleep if time allows. You’re most likely to feel refreshed enough to give your best work after stepping away and looking at your work with fresh eyes.
Finals are such a stressful time for students, and it can spread to the rest of our lives. Taking into consideration what you can and cannot control, take care of yourselves and remember that finals will not define you. xx Rose