#OperationExamination - Getting everyone through January 2021 exams
During COVID many normal and joyful elements of university life have not been as Trinity would have liked them to be for you, our students. We’re conscious that you have made so many sacrifices to keep yourselves and others safe. We are proud of you and grateful to you.
We are worried that for many, the January 2021 exams will be more difficult than exams would have been pre-COVID. The #OperationExamination initiative aims to encourage you to stick with your studies, even if you’re struggling. It also asks students who have the resources, to watch out for peers/friends/colleagues who might be struggling and refer them for help from Trinity.
1. You’ve come to the right place
Although this year has not been as we would like it, being in third level education is a really good move for your health. In fact, by the age of 30, people who get an education beyond second level can expect to live four years longer than those who don’t. So tough as these exams are, you’ve come to the right place. We really want you to stick with your studies. Read on for details of support to get you through.
2. Missing Library Chats?
Library chats might be the only glimmer of fun in a normal exam season. And now they’re gone. Would it be a good idea to organise online ones? You can recreate that library chats feeling by drinking cold, tea from a keep cup and talking for hours about nothing rather than go back to the books. The opportunity for spotting talent isn’t as good but at least you know no one will have moved your books and stolen your seat when you finally get back to the grindstone.
3. Studies not going as Normal People as you’d hoped?
Marianne in Normal People was always studying, got amazing results and generally looked fabulous while doing so. If your exam prep is not going quite as well, remember, Marianne didn’t have to endure COVID era exams.
There are lots of people to support you. Your classmates or friends are a good starting point but please know that Trinity has formal supports that we want you to use. Details below.
Student Learning Development:
Student Learning and Development have one to one online study management sessions, and webinars on how to manage your studies.
Your course co-ordinator wants you to do well. If you haven’t attended lectures or you’re struggling, contact them.
You tutor want to help too. If you’re struggling, let them know. Senior Tutor's Office is open for student appointments between 10.30am - 12.30pm and 2.30pm - 4.00pm Monday to Friday ONLY (email email@example.com to arrange an appointment).
4. Can you help a friend?
Friendship is essential for mental health. By being there for a friend, you can really help. If someone you care about is stressed or anxious, and all the simple stuff like setting a study plan, chatting about the problem, exercising, avoiding alcohol, mindfulness etc aren’t working, the student counselling service has so many resources that can help. Here’s where you can refer them.
If they’d like professional help, SilverCloud offers online support programmes supported by an SCS staff member. Details here: https://ie.silvercloudhealth.com/signup/tcd/
They can sign-up for SCS groups and workshops here: www.tcd.ie/Student_Counselling/counselling/group-workshops/
For a first consultation, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org who will set up an appointment as soon as possible.
For an overview of all the Student Counselling services, click on any of the links on this stepped care model here.
College Health’s medical team are seeing students as normal during the exam period, offering a blended telephone/face to face service.
Morning emergency clinic phone lines are open from 9am. Afternoon ones are open from 2pm. Call 01 896 1591 or 01 8968555.
Emergency appointments are done by phone. The doctors will telephone you.
5. Exercise Helps
Yes, we are promoting Bollywood style dancing on Front Squre. We don’t care if it’s that, Tik Toking, a walk to the local shop, online classes with our good friends in Trinity Sport or an online open club session with one of Trinty’s many Sports Clubs.
If you’re struggling or panicking, make time for movement. The best type of exercise is anything you will do. During exams even short bursts of exercise (10 minutes) can boost mental alertness, energy levels and mood.
Our Sports clubs are expecting messages from students who would like to sign up to their activities over the exam period. You can see a list of all our Sports Clubs here: https://www.tcd.ie/Sport/student-sport/clubs/. Drop them a message and you can get involved in online sessions they’re running during exams or after.
6. You’re here, there’s nothing I fear (please sing Celine Dion style)
If your entire study strategy was coffee, and it’s not working out, maybe come up with some other strategies. Having a good routine, making sleep possible, winding down every evening and drinking lots of water are all things you should consider. We think this advice is worth revisiting. https://www.tcd.ie/collegehealth/covid-19/Routine.php
7. End of exams
Congratulations to all who finished. Well done!
If you didn’t get through the exams be very gentle on yourself. It’s a tough year. Trinity’s Samuel Becket had the right idea: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again.” You can speak to your tutor over the coming weeks about how to resolve whatever needs to be resolved for you to get through to next year. Trinity wants you here!
Whether you passed or not, some celebrating is in order. Seeing friends is really important for your mental health. Have a ball.
What is Mental Health?
Sometimes the terms mental health and mental illness get mixed up. Mental health doesn't just mean that you aren't suffering from a mental illness, it sums up your whole outlook on life and how you deal with it.
Important elements include:
- How you feel about yourself (self-esteem)
- How you feel about the people around you (how you communicate with others and your relationships with others)
- How you are able to face up to the stresses and strains of life (coping strategies)