Column, Samaritans: Exam season can cause pressure build up

Jenny Lomas, Samaritans volunteer and columnist
Jenny Lomas, Samaritans volunteer and columnist

With the holiday season behind us, many Sheffield students will be returning to prepare for semester one exams.

his can be a difficult time when exam worries, assignment deadlines, interview stress and making decisions about the future can make life feel highly pressurised.

Children are set to face tests on their times tables before they leave primary school.

Children are set to face tests on their times tables before they leave primary school.

My main concern was making a decision about what to do take after graduating.

This was a worry as I didn’t take a degree with a specific profession in mind. I had many friends at university who studied nursing, social work, or teaching who intended pursuing careers in those areas.

Studying psychology, I found it more difficult to decide what to do after university as I was interested in many aspects of my degree.

I was left feeling lost and confused for a time as I felt it so important to make the right career choice.

Indeed, I put extra pressure on myself as I thought I ‘should know’ what I wanted to do and show something substantial for my three years at university.

I’m not sure whether my experience is common but I am sure there are many students out there who are worrying about their finances, about academic pressures or about future career prospects.

This can be scary and distressing. Although Samaritans do not give advice, we are able to help you explore your options by encouraging you to think about your feelings and thoughts, perhaps in ways not previously explored.

This is just one example of where Samaritans may be able to help. There is no right or wrong reason to contact us and the nature of calls we get varies greatly.

Whatever your worry is, Samaritans will always support you emotionally. I was lucky to have good friends and close family whom I could trust and turn to when difficulties arose.

Some people aren’t so lucky and can feel very isolated whilst at university.

It’s so important to discuss your worries with somebody or they can consume you and spiral out of control. Please remember, if there is something on your mind that you don’t feel you can discuss with others, you can reach Samaritans at any time, day or night.

We will give you the opportunity to discuss your thoughts and feelings in confidence without having to worry about being judged. Whatever your worries, you can talk to us.