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Q&A: “How do I cope with my classmates’ post-exam angst?”

Nursing school test results

iStockphoto | ThinkStock + Scrubs

After our nursing exams, all my peers get together and talk about the answers in the hallway. I know this is pointless considering we won’t know anything until we go over the test with the professor the next week.

When the exam is over, I just want to leave but I feel stuck in the middle and it makes my test anxiety even worse. I need to get out. Help!

E.G.

Oh E.G., I can remember that clustering after exams in my own nursing school experience. It was always the same: a giant glob of nervous energy would coalesce and speculate about the answers to every single question.

Once you were sucked into the realm of post-test madness, there was little hope of return. “What’d you think? That one question, the pharm one about SSRIs, what’d you put? That question was so unfair!” I hated every second of that nonsense, that useless anxiety. And so I did what I usually do in times like these: I traveled to the moon.

I imagined myself sitting in a lawn chair on one of the moon’s craters, looking at the situation from a broader vantage point. From way up there, I could see the entire earth rotating below me, floating brilliantly in its space. From way up there, I couldn’t imagine that this test would stand a chance in securing a spot on the “most important things in the universe to me” list. From way up there, really, it all seemed rather silly.

This perspective shift always gave me the courage to storm away from the post-exam angst. Instead, I’d use those precious few moments in between classes to get some fresh air, to listen to my favorite song, to check-in with a loved one. Try not to waste your free time hypothesizing about things you cannot change. Instead, dearest E.G., take a trip to the moon and see what you find.

See you there,

Nurse MER

Got a question for Nurse MER? Leave it in the comments below and she might answer it in a future article!

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Mia Ross

Mia has had the soul of a nurse since birth. She has spent the last decade honing her inherent skills of promoting healing, health, and happiness. Mia has experience in cardiac telemetry, orthopedics, and is currently working at a preventative medical clinic in New York City. She is especially interested in using language, honesty and human connection to inspire, motivate and ignite conversations which afford patients (and nurses!) an opportunity to create their own unique paths toward better physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
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