Exam anxiety

exam anxiety sos-care blog

This week's blog is a poetic meditation on exam anxiety, an emotion that many of us and our families experience.

Let me know what memories or experiences this poem brings about for you or the ways you navigate the emotion of anxiety when it arrives.  

Please go back to the Blog tab and submit your impressions or experience or email me via the contact page.

Take care
, Deb

Exam Anxiety - by Deb Roberts

Some people have it and some people don’t
There must be reasons why
Exam anxiety can come in many levels and forms
From very low... to extremely high

Why do we care about such things you could ponder
However our culture, family and society constantly feed it
Scores, status and how well we’ve done
Matters to some of us every bit

Others who I admire
Can care less about the mark
But because I’m so different
I feel I have to unravel it from the start

I felt love when I knew the answers
At home or school, no different
It could have some rationale
Because of my culture, upbringing and parents

However there isn’t one reason to why I cared so much
About how well I achieved in school
It was/is also part of my nature so rather than blame
A balanced approach to exams can be a most useful tool

I used to study to extreme
It somehow was part of my inner pressure and fabric
But not to learn the actual content
Instead it was all about the mark and led to a relentless low grade panic

I never experienced an anxiety attack which I know others have
I just had this constant striving and wanting to achieve
No amount of studying was enough
Long hours of it was never enough but gave me some sort of reprieve

Please be clear to have good study habits are important
They have bearing on our present and future
But the degree of impact on the one doing it
Is what we need to explore

Learning about what matters takes a Iife time and there is no wrong or right
But for a student in school studying matters a lot
We can learn from one another about what drives our intentions
If it’s to receive love from others, then we are misguided and will have the tendency to get caught

Love from others matters very much
But our self care, self trust and self respect has more bearing
If we are so hard on ourselves and our worst critic
It might be something else we are fearing

So learn for the sake of learning
Question and reflect is an important part
But the score only itself
Is what I want you to explore slowly shedding from the start

There are many factors of what makes a fulfilling life
Family, good friends, many experiences and learning
But the score itself and the striving to perfection
Is a road that leads to utter burning

So try a little to lighten your reliance on the score with focus on interest and content
Study some, then take a breath, a break and a wider perspective
It is an aspect to ponder upon in your own time
And try to self explore to meet that larger objective.

Dr Deb Roberts is a passionate advocate for public health and personal well-being. She currently consults, providing professional development services in the area of self-care and well-being for schools, corporates and individuals. Her vision and mission is to normalise discussions about mental health to support optimum well-being.

Deb Roberts