I remember vividly that period of limbo after finishing the last exam of the semester (Yay) and waiting for final grades to be released (Eek). I would have one foot in holiday mode and the other stuck in an avalanche of thoughts and self-doubt. “I nailed it…I think I probably passed…Did I do enough…Why didn’t I put C for question 33…Did I even spell my name write on that essay paper…Did I write in English…Oh my goodness I will fail everything, lose my job and the world will explode…”
Well you get the idea, and I am sure everyone has found themselves somewhere on this spectrum after an exam. A great tool so the thought avalanche doesn’t bury you is mindfulness, or staying in the present. This is so helpful when our heads are running back to the exam or forward to results that haven’t been released yet. Check out this blog post about mindfulness, My Smiling Mind is also a great app that gives access to guided mindfulness and relaxation exercises.
Whilst rehashing the past and trying to predict the future can be unhelpful and increase stress, it is good to be aware of support services and options available if your grades are not what you had hoped for. Something I used to remind myself of when waiting for results was “there is always an alternative”. Sometimes that alternative looks very different to our original plan, it may mean a redo of a subject or a different pathway to the same goal. The Skype Drop-in Sessions or an appointment with a Student Support Advisor are a good forum for you to discuss some alternative options that might suit your individual situation and what you hope to achieve.
For those of you with exams left this week, good luck! For those of you who have finished, try and enjoy the present. Worrying about what comes next can make you miss out on the fun to be had today.