I remember vividly several occasions during my first degree at the University of Benin. Some coursemates kept telling me tales of how they suffered exam fever. It made no sense to meet, I could hardly relate.
I would not say I was the brightest in the class nor the faculty and not by a far stretch the entire school. Yet I was always so calm during exam weeks. I was always calm, I could even go partying the night before my papers and still confidently write my papers by 8 am without flinching.
I woke up on Monday morning and I noticed I lumped in my throat. It seemed my heart was beating faster than usual, my chest felt heavy. I did not feel sick particularly, but I felt sick. I struggled through the day, it was super hard to concentrate on anything and everything.
Observing closely, I realized my heart would skip a beat every time I thought about the exams on Saturday. I was going to face the scary ABP and its intimidating counterpart Data Analytics. My coursemate, Motunrayo, explained it perfectly when she said we were getting closer to judgement day.
My night’s sleep was not any better than being awake. I had nightmares, scary unexplainable dreams. They were scary but funny, I am laughing right now even thinking about it. In one of my dreams, I was in Jurassic Park, and I was being chased by a dragon. I woke up panicking, my heart palpitating and I was sweating profusely in the cold weather of Jos.
Moving through the weak, I noticed I will be functioning fairly but whenever to ask how the preparations for the exams were coming, I would suddenly find it hard to breathe. My chest would get heavy suddenly and my heart would begin to beat so fast.
My concentration was not good all week either. I could hardly focus on anything, I felt so heavy with a mind so full of things I could not even fathom. I knew my mind was full, but I did not know what was occupying the space.
I finally came to acceptance of my reality on Friday when a friend called. She noticed my voice was heavy and I could hardly articulate my thoughts. She asked if I was okay and I almost yelled loudly, ‘’my anxiety is flying over the roof’’.
I said it for the first time, and I cannot describe enough the relief it brought. The anxiety had dealt with me so badly that I suffered insomnia the entire week. The sleep deprivation worsened my already sickly position. It stole my concentration and rewarded me with headaches, dry throat, and crankiness.
It suddenly dawned on me that I was suffering my fair share of exam fever. For the first time, I felt how it was to get so panicked and then go so low. I instantly felt sorry for all the times I had told friends that it was all in their heads and that only weak people fall prey to such conditions.
Overall, the exams were fair and not as scary as I thought. Lagos business school gifted me with a new experience, expanding my knowledge base of life and its beautiful drama. Have you ever had ‘exam fever’? what did you do to curb and manage the situation? I would love to read about some experiences in the comment section.