For Exeter University students, today is a big day, albeit for many a dreaded one – exam results day.
Who would have thought that one day could be so stressful, daunting, and anxiety inducing? Personally, I have never dealt well with results. My legs would uncontrollably shake, my palms would sweat, and I would bite my nails, all the while reaching for my survival pack of tissues when the waterworks started. Waiting for exam results is nerve-racking enough to make you nauseous at the best of times, not to mention when their release date happens to be in the middle of a pandemic.
Whilst we do have the benchmark system offering us a degree of security, I will still be holding my breath when I open that terrifying email. I cannot claim that I won’t be worried but feeling apprehensive is completely normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Thinking about it, I can’t actually pin-down what is making me nervous. Am I afraid of disappointing? Am I worried about the future? Maybe it’s a combination of both, warped in the uncertainty of it all. However, lockdown has strangely put things into perspective for me. I have learnt that we can be resilient in times of uncertainty. We have not seen some friends or family for many months. I have spent so long distracted by an invisible virus and how it is adapting the way I live that I feel like I can face anything. I feel empowered and I will not let the prospect of receiving exam results diminish that. So, I will be spending it much more productively, surrounded (socially distanced or virtually) by those who I couldn’t see before. I will cherish my time with them, and hopefully, with a glass of wine in hand, I will be distracted from the daunting day.
I could preach to get enough sleep, eat well, and listen to music etc., but these methods will never work for everybody. Stress is individual, and we all have our own coping mechanisms. However, we are unified in that we are all students concerned to some extent about results, and there is something ironically comforting about that. Whether you are at home or in Exeter, there will always be someone at the end of a phone call or in your house that you can talk to. Sometimes, talking is all it takes.
So, even if my results do not go to plan, I will not dwell on the could-haves, should-haves, or would-haves. There will be plenty of time to think-up a plan B over the summer. After all we have been through, we deserve to celebrate, by spending time with friends and family. No matter what happens, we’re going to be okay. We are going to be amazing.
– Miriam Higgs
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