Surviving exam week pressure cooker

Some students have productive means of expression, but all have a specific routine that plays out when academic work gets overwhelming

It’s exam week and students at Carihi are in the pressure cooker.

How do they let off steam? I asked a few students what they did to relieve stress, and here’s what they had to say.

Joanna Morrison,  a grade 11 student at Carihi says, “I normally go outside to get some fresh air, either in the forest or on the beach. Then I watch my favorite movie to cool off.

“If I’m too stressed I throw technology aside to study for a few hours to make sure I know what I need for the exam. Being prepared always alleviates stress.”

Some students have productive means of expression, but all have a specific routine that plays out when academic work gets overwhelming.

Char Amelia says, “When I’m stressed my brain usually shuts off, so I lay down and do nothing until it turns back on. And I get frustrated and cry. So when I have a lot to do and I’m stressed about it, I just do nothing. Sometimes I go on a run, but usually just watch Grey’s Anatomy.”

With students on edge and feeling low, the entire schools anxiety levels are raising as well.

I asked Carihi Principal Sean Toal what he thought of the matter.

He had this to say: “Students should keep in mind that stress isn’t always a bad thing, and that it can be managed by getting enough rest, physical activity, and proper nutrition. By taking care of yourself physically, you can increase the opportunity of performing under pressure.

“We should also keep in mind that students show their learning in a number of different ways and exams measure performance in one way and at a particular time.

“We don’t use these results to define abilities or skills in subject areas, they are more of a measure or checkpoint of their learning.  Having a bad two hours in an exam session doesn’t have to define the other 100 or so hours students have devoted to a class and all of the learning activities that occurred there. Even though we take our exam results seriously, students who are not happy with their Provincial Exam results can rewrite them if they feel that their grade on the exam doesn’t reflect their true abilities.”

So, although it may seem rough as a student, Carihi’s low key vibes are always around to relieve students and get them through their stress.