With the end of term fast approaching, it is quite common for students to get stressed. However, it is important to remember that these stressful times will pass. Often people laugh about the things they were stressing over whilst at uni, and most problems don’t seem that significant in hindsight.
We asked our 30 Minutes a Month alumni participants to share some stories from their uni days, especially when they were stressed about something that worked out in the end.
Philippa Rumble (Bachelor of Education (Primary), 2021) said it’s easy to look back and laugh, but there were many times during her degree when things seemed out of control:
“I’ll always remember the time I had 4 assessments due over 3 days. I was getting ready to run a community event for 2500 people at the same time, and my computer died. That was the time I realised that saving to a cloud drive wasn’t something that lecturers advised just for fun. While it was a really stressful time, I was incredibly lucky to get my laptop fixed and some of the assessment documents recovered 48 hours before my first assessment was due. It took several looong nights of work, but I managed to submit all my assessments, get HDs for all of them, and pull off the community event successfully. However, the moral of the story is to submit early if you can and ALWAYS back your notes and assessments up to an online server, or just email them to yourself!”
Kodi Warner-Magnussen (Bachelor of Environmental Science, 2021) shared a story from his first-year biology exam:
“In my first year, I had a biology exam coming up that I felt I really was not prepared for. In the two weeks leading up to the exam, my peers and I held a handful of study groups to go over the term’s content. I felt that my peers were way more prepared than I was, so I was extremely stressed. I was only hoping to pass by the time I walked into the exam. I was so worked up that I even felt sick. In the end, I walked out thinking I could have done way better and had absolutely no idea what my grade was going to be. When our grades were finally released, I just grazed my way into a High Distinction with an 86%. A great result, I would say! It just goes to show that we can often severely underestimate ourselves, and it can take a toll on our health.”
Jessica Wright (Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours), 2016) told a story from her honours year when she had to take six weeks off her studies:
“In my honours year, I had to have major surgery. It meant taking about six weeks off my project and studies to recover, and I felt like I would never finish it. I was able to get an extension, enlisted the help of a close friend and mentor to help guide me through, and managed a score I was pretty proud of, given the circumstances!”
Jessica Small (Bachelor of Business, 2021) shared a story where a delayed train made her miss her exam:
“In the first semester of my second year of university, the train I was catching to Brisbane for my final exam was delayed. I did the calculations in my head and knew that a 45-minute delay would mean that I wouldn’t make it to the city in time for the exam that I had been studying for. I felt my stomach drop. I remember almost bursting into tears at the thought of missing my exam and failing the unit I had been studying for the past 12 weeks. I decided to hop on the train anyway for the one-hour journey and hoped that my calculations were incorrect, but as we got closer to the exam’s start time, I knew I would miss it. I emailed my lecturer, who was very comforting and told me to apply for another exam sitting. I even contacted Translink to support my claim that the trains were delayed. My application got accepted, and thankfully, I ended up sitting the exam a few weeks later. Once the results were released, I received a message from my lecturer saying that I had the best results out of all the students in the unit. She had also nominated me for the Financial Planning Association’s Student of the Year award. I added that award to my resume, which was the reason I got an admin job in the industry one year before graduating. I guess you could say that missing that train really worked in my favour and opened some doors.”
Belinda Donaldson (Bachelor of Property, 2021) shared her experience in dealing with unexpected situations:
“One time, I had misread a due date on an assignment, and it was due three days earlier than I had planned. I also had a second assignment due the day after. Life was throwing up challenges as well – I had work, parenting commitments, and my husband was working away. Whenever I sat down to do my assignment, something interfered, requiring my attention. Somehow, I got both assignments submitted on time. After a couple of late nights, early mornings, some quick-fix dinners and TV babysitting, I managed to get the work done. From that moment, I always built contingencies into my planning and aimed to get my assignments done ahead of schedule.”
Based on these stories, stressful situations are often only temporary. The assignment and exam period will be over in no time, and you’ll be able to look forward to new opportunities. Meanwhile, it is important to look after yourself and your friends. Stay tuned for next week’s post where our graduates share techniques to deal with stress.
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