Post Exam Stress Trauma
Laura Dowse discusses the after-effects of the exam period.
Congratulations! You made it. You survived. You can finally say that exams are over. Depending on your personal revision style, the months, weeks or days of revising have come to an end. But what happens now?
It is likely that you could experience some form of ‘Post Exam Stress Trauma’, and I’d like to offer some support during this potentially confusing time in your life. You’re about to go through many changes, and I don’t want you to be scared. Whilst I am not a doctor or medical professional, I want to use my personal experience to help you through this. Exams may be over, but your journey is not.
During the first stage of the disorder, you are likely to experience emotions that can only be described as joy, ecstasy and pure relief. Regardless of your future grades, the soul-destroying and demoralising task of revising has ended. Stop to smell some flowers, catch up with Game of Thrones without feeling guilty, reacquaint yourself with the SU; whatever floats your boat. I urge you to enjoy this time before you enter phase 2 of your recovery.
Reality hits, and it hits hard. It could be the sudden awareness that you have to leave what I refer to as the ‘university bubble’, and re-enter society. For many, this means the realisation that everything is a lot more expensive (nights out in particular). Others may be faced with the dreaded question; what shall I do with the rest of my life?! Whatever your situation, you should know that these feelings of panic and fear are completely normal.
Focus on the positive, also known as the silver lining or the bright side. Make the most of the opportunity to relax. Want to stay in bed all day? Do it. Want to trawl through social media without feeling bad? Do it. Want to challenge yourself to sit through the longest movie marathon possible? Do it. Whatever you have been longing to do during this term; take the chance to experience it.
Don’t be scared; you will recover from your zombie-like exam state, and return to normality. I am sure you don’t need my encouragement, but enjoy your summer. September will roll around again before we know it, and we will be forced to return to our studies or find some sort of grown-up job.
Just remember to stay calm. You survived exams, you’ll enjoy summer, and you’ll be fine no matter what happens in September. You’ve made it through the year, so be proud of yourself and enjoy whatever you do next.
I hope that I have gone some way to comfort you during your post-exam recovery. If this is the case, then I am glad that I could offer some reassurance. If you completely disagree with everything that I have described, that is absolutely fine as well. Exam reactions are a personal experience, and everyone will come to terms with this trauma in their own way. Just know that you are not alone, and that we are all united in our relief that 2013-2014 exams are over.
OED Definition of Feminism:
The advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.
A simple enough concept. So why is there still a problem?
It goes without saying that women have been, and continue to be the victims of a patriarchal society, oppressed and restrained throughout the world to varying degrees. This is an unfair and unacceptable status quo and something that needs to change. For this reason feminism is one of the most important movements that exists today, directly affecting half of the world's population; so why is the concept so misconstrued?
Recently, in conversation with a friend, the question was asked as to whether she considered herself a feminist. She replied that she didn't, as she likes men and didn't see the point in burning her bra. It's important to acknowledge here that this conversation took place at the university, exemplifying that she was a woman that had made the choice to further her education and seek a career. Doing so, ultimately as a result of early “bra burning” feminists. Clearly however, there was a lack of awareness concerning the correlation between the two. It's disconcerting to think that a woman in a position such as hers is uneducated in the movement that has the most power to aid her in her career aspirations.
Feminism is inherently a good cause and to question it would be absurd. However, there is sadly a stigma that remains attached to the movement, that is encouraged by a misconception of what it stands for. A woman that hates men is not a feminist, she is sexist. Feminism is the fight for the social, political and economic equality of the sexes, not a campaign for female superiority over men. It is through thinking otherwise that the argument and the work of past feminists is undermined, turning it into an extreme and isolated movement. It is through thinking otherwise, that men are given the opportunity to trivialise feminism and other women are discouraged from considering themselves a feminist. There is a line between FemLove and ManHate.
Not all feminists hate men, and not all men seek to oppress women. It is such generalisations and stereotypes that create inaccurate representations, causing misunderstanding and a closed-minded perception of the world. The problem lies not in the opinions that people hold, but their unwillingness to see anything to the contrary.
People are people. Gender is one facet of an individual and to marginalise them because of it is prejudice comparable to racism or homophobia. It should not define the potential of a person. As a society we should learn to look beyond all of these descriptors and see people as more than how they appear before us. Feminism should seek equality between men and women, as the civil rights movement sought racial equality, and it should not become a forum for hatred or the belittling of the opposing gender.
Author: Hannah Partridge, Jack Kilker, Corinna Taylor