[#StudentLife] How to Survive Exams?

Ah, it’s finally Friday evening! It had been a tough week for many of my friends; midterms, papers and assignment dues are peaking at its climax. It is the time of the term again, when everyone is just so worn off I feel like I’m at Zombieland whenever I’m at UBC. People are walking around half-dead, with eyes half-closed and brain drained from late night studies, it is especially gloomy with fall coming in and rain falling everyday.

My schedule has been tight too, I am going to have an assignment worth 20% due this Sunday, a quiz on Monday, a midterm on Tuesday, and another midterm on Thursday next week. I am trying my best to be prepared for everything, but it is hard. So many things have been sacrificed, but I am insisting on posting this blog post since it is a way of destress/relaxation for me. I guess I am going to quickly finish this and get back to study!

I was going to blog about “How To Stay Positive During Exams?” when I realized it is almost impossible. We are all hanging onto the edge trying to cram the best we can for better grades, you can’t expect us to be all rainbows and unicorns with that right? So I decided to come up with some steps to survive exams instead.


1. Don’t escape from reality and start working towards your problem.

“Damn, why is everything coming at the same time?”, “Why didn’t I start working on this earlier?”, “Fuck this shit, I’ll just fail this paper can I? NOOOOO It’s worth 40%…….” I hear this (or see it from my classmates’ eyes) almost every day now.

Yes, I know. I feel you. I really feel you. We all thought we have more time for that work but in reality we don’t, 24 hours a day is not enough, but procrastinating and self-blaming is not going to take us further either. All you can do now is try your best to bring the best out of this situation. Block all of the distractions, plan your schedule, be as productive and you can.

2. Be willing to sacrifice your social life.

This is the part of university where we can only choose the 2 on the right in this diagram, it is inevitable. Besides classes and errands, I have been staying in my room for the passed week. My room has become my dining table, my gym and my study area and that is my whole life for now. Don’t cry that you’re missing out, be ready for that glorious moment of finally seeing the sunlight after you’re done!

I’ve already scheduled a Jason Mraz concert this Thursday right after my 2nd midterm. That is when I am going to see rainbows again! 😛

3. If you really need to be depressed and cry, JUST DO IT.

Many times we try to be strong and positive when times are hard. We force ourselves to smile and tell others that we’re doing fine when we’re actually not. If one day you decide that you’re really tired from all the stress, – acknowledge it and let yourself break down for a bit. Crying doesn’t mean you’re weak, it means that you’re strong enough to face this negative emotion. Just don’t forget to be stronger and move on afterwards, that’s the most important part.

4. Sleep well, and continue to stay healthy. 

It is hard to not stay up late and finish up that chapter that you are missing. But remember, you won’t be able to perform well during exams if you’re sleep deprived too. I have once read this article about how sleep deprivation affects performance, and the effect is not temporary but cumulative. Sacrifice anything else but your health, go workout for one hour when you’re tired from studying and eat healthy. The last thing you want during exams is to fall sick.

5. Keep moving on even if you don’t do well.

As much as we have tried and sacrificed, sometimes things just don’t go our way. We might have gotten the concept wrong, we might have mistaken what the question was asking for. We might not get the results that we want. But don’t give up yet. Life is a journey of learning. Our GPA might affect our transcript or our future job, but for now, you know you’ve tried your best.

Give yourself a pat on your back, be proud of yourself as you continue in this journey. There are still so much more in life that are awaiting us.


Dear friends, we will win the battle and conquer this war. We can do this. Good luck for all of your papers and exams, and wish me luck too!

xx Wendy