Life & Health

Published on March 24, 2014 | by Jonathan Albanese     Photography by Jonathan Albanese


Exam Time Stress

Post-secondary students typically experience high levels of stress during the final weeks of the semester as they are bombarded with assignments, projects, quizzes, and final exams.

Many of these assignments end up being due on the same day and finding time to study for exams can feel like mission impossible, and it can easily get out of control.

Jamie-Lee Ball is a third-year business major, at the University of Guelph-Humber, who was hospitalized because of stress-induced symptoms due to the amount of school work she had.

“At one point, I was taking five classes, working four part-time jobs, volunteering, and I was a member of several different extra curricular groups at Guelph-Humber. I ended up going to the hospital because I had a really bad headache and couldn’t stop shaking. I was hospitalized for four days and missed so much school afterwards.”

After what she called a life-threatening encounter with stress, Ball now combats her stress by writing important dates on a calendar.

“Now that [I’m] in my third-year of university, I’ve learned I simply cannot do it all. What works for me is writing [everything] out on a big calendar when projects are due and exams are scheduled. Having a visual aid really helps me to keep everything into perspective and reduce the negative feelings of stress and feeling overwhelmed,” she said.

Samantha Maurice, a fourth-year English literature major, at York University, has experienced high levels of stress multiple times throughout the course of her studies.

“I do about five to six hours of homework [each] night, which doesn’t include writing papers or doing mini assignments.”

Maurice, like many university and college students, struggles to find time to do all of her assignments during the final weeks of school.

“I try to make time for friends in order to de-stress [but] I can’t really find time to do everything. Between work and school, [it] seems like 24 hours in a day just isn’t enough”.

Third-year photography student at the University of Guelph-Humber, Jeeval Tailor, believes that it is time that students get a lighter workload to help alleviate some of the stress students have to go through during the year.

“If anything were to change I think it would need to be the amount of assignments,” said Tailor. Reducing the amount of assignments would give the students more time per assignment to complete them.

Health Canada’s website has a number of suggestions to help people reduce tension, for example, taking your mind off your current situation, and even talking about your problems to a friend, co-worker or family member.

Some of the suggestions from students to help reduce stress are going out for a drink, sitting down to read a book, or even going to the gym to workout.

Many students agree, it is best to plan ahead and be prepared for every project, test, and exam. By doing so, your deadlines will be met, there will be plenty of time for studying, and most importantly time to relax.

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About the Author

is a third year Media Studies student at the University of Guelph Humber. Last year Jonathan was a co-host on GuHu Radio's hit show "TGIFF, Mike and John in the Morning", and was an intern at Sportsnet 590 The Fan. Jonathan is now a writer and editor for Radix. Follow him on twitter at @John_Alba.

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