Hi there, Paris here again! At those times in the year where exams and deadlines roll around, stress has a tendency to pile up and overwhelm us. But don’t worry, the University of Exeter provides a variety of services and solutions to help you stay calm and cool-headed all year long. 

Before you even start at Exeter, you will be able to let the University know if and how to support you academically and in your accommodation. From requesting ILPs to acquiring funded support, the University is here to help with whatever support you might need. Exeter also provides a service called AccessAble, which offer advice and assistance to students with disabilities and health conditions in order to get the most out of their time studying here. Additionally, they provide a map of all accessible campus and off-campus buildings. There’s a great blog about how the Uni can help you arrange accommodation adjustments here.

The University of Exeter also makes accessing healthcare services available and easy to obtain. Nowadays, it seems like the hardest task to achieve is book a GP appointment. That’s why it’s super useful that there is the St Thomas Student Health Centre on site near Reed Hall, which can be contacted via phone or on their website. They also provide telephone consultations and have an online consult for non-urgent issues. I personally have used the Health Centre several times to help me recover from fresher’s flu and the occasional bout of tonsillitis, and couldn’t be more grateful to have had this service!  

Opposite the Student Health Centre is the Wellbeing Centre too, along with two other Wellbeing centres at you can find on campus. These are available for in-person and online appointments, which work alongside the 24/7 support available via Togetherall. There is also Exeter Nightline, which is the university’s confidential and anonymous listening and instant messaging service, run by trained student volunteers for students. Their number can be found on the back of your Student ID card and runs all throughout term time.  

Wellbeing Centre – Streatham Campus

If you do find yourself visiting any of these centres, you will find that they are in fact in a lovely part of campus! There are so many green and calm spaces on Streatham Campus where you can walk through or sit for a quiet moment to de-stress. Reed Hall is a particularly nice part, and there is a café there too if you fancy a calming cup of tea or sweet treat. If you explore a bit you’ll also come across Reed Pond, which has pretty water features and benches along the side to sit and chat, or just take in the scenery. The path from Lafrowda to East Park is also a nice short, illuminated forest path, which runs next to a stream usually full of ducks!  

The peaceful and pretty gardens around Reed Hall, Streatham Campus

One trick I use when I’m getting stressed about deadlines or growing overwhelmed with my work is changing location. Being cooped up at your desk in your bedroom all day isn’t ideal, particularly when the weather outside your window is lovely. It’s also been proven unhealthy to work in the space that you relax in, and so separating these spaces is vital to remaining calm and focused during exam season. Walking to campus and finding a spot in the library, grabbing a hot drink in Queen’s Building, or even venturing all the way up to the quiet study space in the Peter Chalk Centre, can all really help you regain focus and ultimately reduce stress and anxiety around assignments. The walk itself is literally a nice breath of fresh air to take as a break between study sessions.  

My walk to campus!

If you do fancy venturing outside of campus, the city of Exeter (and Devon in general) is a beautiful place to take nice long walks and see nature. Opposite the entrance to Forum hill (Stocker Road) is a public footpath that takes you across Hoopern Valley, and above East Park are the Community Gardens and Duryard Valley Park where you can catch a stunning sunset! The quay is a short 20 minutes from campus if you fancy sitting and watching the swans swim by, and of course there’s many lovely beaches (Exmouth, Dawlish…) to visit just a short train journey away.  

Sunset at Exmouth beach

There are also many longer routes you can research, but one myself and my friends have done is the Green Circle, which is a 12-mile route running all the way around Exeter. Mincinglake Valley Park is also a hub of birds and dog walkers which you can wander through as a break from studying. For a warm summery day, I’d highly recommend doing something like this.  

If you have visited Streatham Campus this past year, you would have seen around the Forum there is some construction work taking place. That is because a brand-new Multi-Faith Centre is being built! Just like the current one, the Chaplaincy is available as a quiet space and for any support you may need. There is also the Exehale space located on both Streatham and St Luke’s Campuses, which is available for students to use 7 days a week. You will also find many wellbeing resources and activities in Devonshire House, including visits from very cute dogs!  

The Exeter Students’ Guild provides a plethora of different services and support for issues students might face, ranging from support groups to calm activities and societies. During the exam period the Guild have run group study sessions and exam de-stress sessions such as the ‘Breakfast Club’, which gives students a chance to grab some free food and chat to Guild Officers about what they’re working on, as well as pick up some exam de-stress resources. 

Outside the University of Exeter Students’ Guild

For additional academic support, personal and year group tutors are available to provide guidance on a range of issues. Module convenors are also there to be contacted if you are struggling with a certain aspect of your course. Being in my final year, the support I received from my dissertation supervisor was a great help both academically but also in reassurance of my abilities.  

The Career Zone can also help with anxieties around the future at any stage of choosing/planning and starting a career, and the live chat function is on hand every weekday for questions or booking appointments. I found this particularly useful if I had any brief questions, and if I was feeling overwhelmed about the future. They also run multiple careers fairs throughout the year which focus on both future careers and current student-employment opportunities. 

At the University of Exeter, you will find that there are ample resources to help if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, and it’s so easy to get out of the chaos of exam stress or the busy library by wandering through our beautiful campus, and the lovely nature that surrounds it.  

For more information or questions on wellbeing support at Exeter, visit https://www.exeter.ac.uk/students/wellbeing/