Today I’m sharing a personal story…

Yesterday I wrote my first exam since deciding to go back to university to study a post graduate degree in marketing. It was pretty scary, I was nervous and dealing with all sorts of questions in my mind that I haven’t dealt with for a long time. If you have made the decision to return to study, you will probably know what I’m talking about. It’s interesting because I thought I would be more confident and comfortable then when I was studying for my undergraduate degree but I have since found out that the pressure and expectations I put on myself are different.

This time around I have made a very careful and conscious decision to study, whereas when I chose my undergraduate degree I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do. Studying after high school was seen as ‘the thing to do’. Don’t get me wrong, I loved what I did and made great friends at university, not to mention that it was the instigator for my move to Australia. It was great and I’d do it all again.

I’m talking about the pressure and the nerves aspect now that I’m studying again. I’m putting a lot more pressure on myself to perform, and I think I’m expecting more from myself and the fear of failure is greater. I’m studying marketing, I’m supposed to know it because I’ve studied it before and I’ve worked in it for years but still there’s this fear.


I usually deal with stress and pressure quite well and like most of us, I have my own way of dealing with it. This kind of pressure is new to me though but I’ve managed well (I think). My way of handling it was to be extremely organised and plan my 11 weeks of study carefully. In the evening during the week I would read the materials given to us on a particular topic and on the weekends I would work on the assignment. After the assignment was handed in, I would use the weekends to study the topics that were relevant for the exam. I’ve always been a planner and could never start ‘the night before’ as many of my friends used to do. Staying on top of my work allowed me to take a sneaky weekend off every now and then because I knew what my workload was and how much I still needed to do. My careful planning worked well for me, but I understand that it’s not for everyone. Do what works for you, find your own mechanisms to plan and work towards a goal or deadline.

The exam went well I think, but we’ll see when the results come back. Fingers crossed I pass the unit.

It was great to come home afterward, sit down and not feel any pressure. I could just sit and do nothing if I wanted to. Those who know me would laugh, because I’m absolutely hopeless at doing nothing. I chose to have a cuppa and start on a new book, The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. So far it’s very inspirational and resonates with me, I keep nodding and reading certain parts out loud to my boyfriend. I plan to take it with me on the weekend, when we head out of town for a well-deserved break, and will give you an update on it once I’ve finished reading it.

That’s my personal story about dealing with stress and getting back on track. Do you have any tips, tricks or methods?

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