The Student Room Group

Mental Health during Exam Season

University students are extremely vulnerable to mental health issues as they are away from home and are experiencing the stress of adult life for the first time. Additionally, the stress of exams and uni-work can also have adverse effects on your mental health. Which is why students experience a range of mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, and eating disorders. Therefore, I wanted to provide some insight on the warning signs of mental health issues and guidance on how to overcome them.

The first step towards tackling any issue is to acknowledge that there is an issue. Therefore, the first step to address your mental health related problems will be to accept that you are struggling. Some of the signs to look out for are as follows:

Disengaging from university activities, academic work, or other commitments
Socially Withdrawing: Not looking after yourself
Problems with Motivation and Concentration
Changing in Eating and Sleeping pattern

These symptoms are very common during current times of exams and assignments submissions. Last year when I had my dissertation submission, I used to be in the library till late hours of night which totally disrupted my sleeping and eating pattern, which then had a chain reaction of other issues such as lack of motivation. I was unable to focus on my writing and struggled a lot near the due date.:bricks:

Once I realized that it is due to my uneven sleep pattern and stress from my assignment, the first thing I did was stop staying longer in library and make efforts to spend some time away from university work and it did help. Hence, it is best to deal with stress and anxiety from exams and assignments by taking your mind off it for some time. Additionally, I also went out with my friend whom I had not met for quite a while, and we had a long chat about nothing and everything. I also started cooking home-made meals and spent some time indulging myself on Netflix. This really uplifted my mood, and I was more focused on work after as opposed to constantly sitting with my books around me and in front of laptop but not really getting anything done.

Therefore, my suggestion would be to take your mind off exams and assignments for a bit and engage yourselves with perhaps a hobby you like, a friend you want to see or even take a nap and I am sure you will yield better results and have productive time studying for your exams.

How universities supports its students

Each university wants to ensure that all students have a positive experience at their uni. It's important to us that you ask for advice and support as early as possible with any issues you might be facing in order to reduce the possible impact on your mental health.

Support can be offered, but is not limited to and can be varied based on universities:

Assessment of whether practical adjustments could be made to teaching, coursework hand-in times or exams, to reduce the impact that a mental health condition has on your studies at university
Support when discussing the needs of teaching staff, should this be required
Practical goal setting and suggestions of how to address certain issues you may be experiencing
Support accessing local statutory services such as the NHS
Signposting agencies who can support students with alcohol and substance use issues
Signposting to counselling services

Finally, what I would like to emphasize is that if you are facing any mental health issues, you are not alone. An increasing number of students are disclosing stress and anxiety due to exams and university life. It is essential to acknowledge that there is plenty of support available inside and outside university and you do not need to cope with mental health issues alone. If you were to have severe headache, you would take measures to mitigate it, wouldn’t you? As you would need to keep your body healthy. Just like so, you need to understand that your mental well being is extremely crucial to keep your mind healthy.:grouphugs:

I wish you all the very best for your exams and assignments. I know you have got this.:clap2:

Swarda, De Montfort University Rep

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