Getting stressed out by your exams? Learn how to manage stress and stay healthy.

Study Melbourne Student Ambassador, Felycia Viffany offers some insights and perspectives on managing stress during busy exam and assignment periods.

Being stressed is understandable especially when you have assignments and exams all happening at the same time. You can feel overwhelmed and not sure what to do.

Student looking stressed at laptop screen

Here are the few tips that will help you reduce stress:

Firstly, to help you reduce stress, it is important to develop good planning and organisation skills which will help you stay focused and be ready for your exams and assignments. Make a calendar, plan and prepare your study goals to make sure you are balancing study across each day and week. But also, don’t forget to balance it out with other important things in your life. Having regular breaks from study helps our brains stay more connected.

Hint: You could also find a study buddy. Some students find that group study works better that studying alone, so reach out to a friend or someone in your course to help each other out.

The environment in which you study is another major factor that can help you stay focused. Some people prefer studying at a local café or you might be more productive at your university library or at home. No matter which study space you choose, make sure it is comfortable and provides an environment that helps you feel calm and focused. Bring all of your study materials with you, such as books, laptops, pens, pencils, highlighters, so you can make the most of your study time.  There are some great cafes across Melbourne which are comfortable places to study and focus, take a look at some of them here.

One of the most important ways you can manage your stress is to keep looking after yourself. Nothing is better than self-care. If you are sick and cannot attend your exams, the process of deferring your exam to another date can take a long time. So why not avoid this scenario and take care of yourself. Exercise and eating healthy nutritious food keeps your brain and body functioning well – and make sure you drink plenty of water! Energy and sugary drinks might be good for a short period, but they increase nerves which will end up wearing you out and making you more tired in the long run.

Finally, relax! Nothing can be done without relaxing. Although you need to study, taking regular small walks or water breaks in between study will not hurt and will help you maintain your focus. Another tip is to make sure you have adequate resting time and get a good night sleep. Give your brain time to recharge, particularly after giving your brain a workout with study.

Words by Felycia Viffany

What to do if you continue to feel stressed?

Most education providers have helpful student services that provide counselling and other support services. These are free services where students can talk to professionals who are there to help you.

If you continue to feel very stressed, you can also visit a doctor in your area. Reach out to your university’s support services or your OSHC provider if you need more information about this. They can assist you with a referral to a psychologist.

Another option is Community Health Centres, which offer counselling at affordable rates. Contact your local council to find out where your nearest Community Health Centre is.

People sitting in Study Melbourne Student Centre

Study Well with Study Melbourne

Study Melbourne has put together a list of great resources, ideas and links aimed at supporting you to stay healthy as you study. Learn more here:

The Study Melbourne Hub also provides information, referral and practical support for all international students in Victoria. You can contact them on 1800 056 449 to make an appointment.