Some people can walk out of an exam and wipe it from their mind instantaneously.
I am not one of those people.
I suffer from Postexamitis– A disease that can be best described as the inability to let go of the exam, even hours after it’s finished. I can’t help but think about all the questions I got wrong, or was frustrated about. And then they just bother me, to the point where I’m sure “I’ve failed” or “All my study was for nothing”.
I come home from the exam and crash, usually on my bed or other comfortable-looking furniture, refusing to get up for anything other than food and just giving up on life in general. This usually lasts for a couple of days, but it’s long enough for my cat to treat me as if I am part of the bed (see picture above), and for time to be wasted where I could be studying for the next exam.
If you’re not one of the lucky people who can erase the exam from memory, you may experience similar symptoms, which is why I have created this blog: to help Postexamitis sufferers turn themselves around so that they can find the motivation to study for the next exam. Here are my top five ways to beat Postexamitis:
Positive thinking can do you a world of help, as cheesy as it sounds. The important thing is that the positive voice in your head overpowers the negative one, so that you reason with yourself that the positive one is right.
Some thoughts I find quite helpful:
- “This exam is one of many exams I will be taking at university, so it’s not like I’ll remember it in 20 years time anyway”
- “If I got 100% every exam, life would be very very boring”
- “Think about all the stuff you learned”
- “That’s another paper that I’ll never have to sit again”
2.Be nice to yourself:
If you come home from an exam and feel awful, don’t start studying something else immediately. Give your body time to recover before you get over tired and over stressed. I recommend a hot chocolate, watching a good TV episode and chilling out with the family or hall mates.
If you’re feeling low, exercise might be exactly what you need to boost your endorphin levels. If you’re a casual athlete, going for a run is good because you’ll get some fresh air too, to clear the head. If you’re a gym enthusiast then maybe you should be working out extra intensely that afternoon. Point being, exercise is a great way to relieve the pent up stress of exams, and it improves your recovery before the next one.
I have come to expect the post-exam low, which means that I can prep for it accordingly. In the time that I really don’t feel like studying, I’ll make sure I organise when I will next study, so that my time isn’t completely wasted. It is also very important to plan for after the exam, so that you have something to look forward to. I find that having a holiday planned, or a meet up with friends in the future is just what I need to lighten up the post-exam mood.
5.Get started on the next exam
When you’re ready, distracting yourself with study for other exams is a fantastic way of forgetting about the last one. It’s not easy to motivate yourself, particularly if the last exam has been a bad one, but it’s only a few weeks; you can do it!
I hope this makes the exam period a little more bearable, and if you do sometimes feel like this, at least know you are not alone!