Ways to mitigate your stress this exam season

It’s that time of year again. Your blood pressure rises as the temperature drops. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but there’s also a train called “EXAMS” barrelling along the track behind you.

If you’re feeling the heat as the end of the semester approaches, here are a few of our patented tips (gleaned from hard-won experience) for managing your stress during the exams/final project crunch.


Now’s not the time to try to optimize your workflow; trying to do so during a high-stress period is a classic procrastination technique (not that we know anything about that, ahem).

Whatever study and time management method works best for you right now – bullet journal, Google Calendar, writing notes on your arm in Sharpie, whispering your to-do list into the knot in your favourite tree – stick with that. You can always reassess when exams are over; right now you’re just trying to tread water.


When you’ve hit a wall, set a timer for 10 minutes and go for a walk. If you don’t want to go outside, you can go make some tea/do a lap around the library/lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling – anything other than hunching over a computer or a tower of flash cards. Get your circulation flowing. Look at something other than your schoolwork for a few minutes. Sometimes the very act of letting go can help your brain unclench and shake something loose, so when you sit down again it’ll be easier to concentrate. Try to do this every half hour or so (the Pomodoro Technique is your friend).


For real though. If you don’t have time for three square, make sure you have lots of ready snacks with you for grazing throughout the day – something with some protein like yogurt, trail mix or hummus and veggies – to help keep you going through marathon study sessions.


We all have that friend who drops off the face of the planet during exams. If you are that friend, we get it, and no one’s mad. (Except maybe your mom, although she insists she’s “just disappointed.”) It can be hard to prioritize anything other than schoolwork right now, but seeing your family and friends (especially friends who aren’t in the throes of Exam Fever themselves) can be a much-needed reality check when it feels like the world is ending. They’ll remind you there are important parts of your life that aren’t school, there are people who will love you whether or not you make the Dean’s List this semester, and one day this exam period will be a distant memory.


You don’t have to face stress alone. December 11-17, SAMRU will be providing our world-famous Stress Less programming to give you that little extra boost you need to make it through to your last final.

What can you expect? Massages! Free snack carts! Crafts! Naps!✨✨Puppies!✨✨ And all Stress Less programs and activities are totally free, so you can refresh your body and mind without leaving campus or spending a dime. Let us help you de-stress, so you can give your exams everything you’ve got. Check out the full Stress Less schedule here.