Why stress is good for university students

08:15 SA VARSITY STUDENT 0 Comments

stressing about results or exams

As a university student you will be under a lot of stress as you will be in a lot of very stressful situations where it’s do or die. These situations include tests, assignment submissions, project hand in’s, practical’s and examinations, sometimes the stressful situation is just before consolidation week and you are stressing about whether you will get DP or not. The whole point of university and all the assessments is to put you under stress to see if you can handle it, that is why exams are time sensitive. They are preparing you for the real world of deadlines, where you will deal with clients and your performance on each work project will determine whether the client returns or not, whether you are fired or promoted. The better you are at handling pressure and stressful situations the more you will be able to cope in the real world. Before we get to the real world I will give you a few examples to show you why stress may be good for you as a student as long as you don’t break down. Whenever you feel the pressure is getting too much for you, you must talk to someone (universities often have student wellness services centres for student to talk to qualified people).

The guy who stresses vs the “chilled” guy


It’s better to be that guy who is always stressing long before an exam than to be that guy who is too chilled and stresses at the last minute. The guy who stresses early over studies long before the exam and has a higher chance of doing well. The guy who is too chilled will most likely study last minute and probably doesn’t even finish studying all the sections, if he stresses during the test or exam it’s late for him.

The guy who stresses double checks his work and makes sure they understand the concept being taught, they attend all classes out of fear of failing, the chilled guy does not fear failure and does not think much of it until the results come back. The stressor gets higher marks than he expected but it’s explainable since he covers all his bases.

The guy who stresses fears that they will not make the deadline and so he works ahead of schedule and can sleep the night before whereas the guy who is too chilled has to pull all-nighters before a submission to make up for his earlier lack of urgency.

The guy who stresses has never failed a course, he thinks he is lucky but it’s not luck but his stressful nature pushes him to be ahead or else he will start panicking. The chilled guy is doing alright but has had to repeat a few courses because sometimes the last minute thing doesn’t work out, and that section you forgot to study may just be the section worth the most marks in the exam.


Anyways these are examples of good stress, there are types of stresses which are not good for your health, if you are the type to pass out during an exam you definitely need to get that sorted out. If you are the sort that thinks failure is the end of the world you need to change your world view as it leads to fatal decisions (Do you know how many students have committed suicide at the end of the year?! There are even helplines at universities now). Failure is an opportunity to stand up again when you fall and next time approach the situation with more wisdom from the experience of your previous failure. Sometimes we are so scared of our parents and communities back at home that we cannot see that whatever happens life will move on and if we live another day we could still figure something out. Life is a roller-coaster, we must enjoy its highs and endure its lows. Stress and failure are a part of living as much as success and happiness.

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