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Exams Are Coming, But I Feel So Lazy

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Dec 17, 2018

Question

Assalaamualaikum.

I am a final year MBBS student and I have my final exam in 39 days. I wasn't able to prepare properly during my whole final year due to various reasons. One of them may be laziness, I don’t deny that. Now when there are only 39 days left for my exam I am so overwhelmed by the course and get palpitations all the time from morning to night.

I may do it insha Allah if I prepare well during the remaining period, but I don't know why I have given up from inside and it feels like I am surely not going to make it out of this exam. I’m so pessimistic right now and full of worry and anxiety. I am trying to study but I’m not able to due to my anxiety and negative thinking that no matter what I’m not going to make it through this exam. I know it's so extreme but even without trying for exams I’m getting suicidal thoughts and just don't want this pain.

Please help me to come out of it.

Counselor

Answer


Exams Are Coming, But I Feel So Lazy

In this counseling answer:

• Positivity is also strengthened by counting Allah’s blessings and practicing gratitude.

• I suggest that you write down why you wanted to pursue a degree in medicine.

• I strongly believe that re-evaluating your intentions will improve your ability to focus and enjoy what you are learning.

• You need to be realistic when you are making the schedule.

• However, group studying is a great way to learn from other students and teach others when you have mastered a concept which other students seem to struggle with.


Assalamu Alaikum dear sister,

Thank you for placing your trust in our ability to propose a solution to your current situation.

I am sorry to hear of the internal troubles you are currently undergoing. Rest assured that this a test from Allah.

The Prophet SAW said:

“Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

What you are currently feeling is a normal reaction to the upcoming examinations taking place in a month’s time. It is stress. Stress is not entirely a bad reaction to a situation. Sometimes, under stress, people tend to perform better, and others completely go spiraling downwards. The trick is to learn to manage the stress. Like you have mentioned in your question, you did not perform to the best of your abilities during the semester, and this could perhaps be because you weren’t as stressed and weren’t under too much pressure and hence took it easy. However, from your question, it seems to me that you can realize the importance of working hard to compensate for the loss of time earlier on during the semester.

Before I outline the steps that you must take in order to achieve optimum success, I am going to emphasize that you start regularly exercising. Anxiety and pessimism are reactions in times of stress as I have mentioned and exercising greatly offsets these reactions to stress. When you exercise, you release certain neurotransmitters which help eliminate these thoughts and increase your self-esteem and even help you focus better. You do not have to do extensive workout routines. Use YouTube beginner exercising cardiac videos and follow them every single day, even during your exams.

Step 1

Be grateful

This will help in reducing your anxiety. This will help you see the positives in your life. You are completing bachelor’s in medicine right now. This is a huge feat and a great blessing that Allah SWT granted you. After this year, you will be able to practice what you have learned and apply the knowledge to real people undergoing the pathologies that you have only read about and distantly observed.


Check out this counseling video:


Part of your suicidal thoughts comes from your inability to see positivity in your life. Positivity is also strengthened by counting Allah’s blessings and practicing gratitude. If you have food in your fridge, clothes to cover you and a roof over your head, you are richer than more than 50% of the world. Count the small things in life, they make the biggest difference.

 “Walk by faith, not by sight.” ~Anonymous

To elaborate, this means that even if you do not see a pathway lit and question its existence because it is not visible to the eye, have faith that there is nonetheless a pathway for you walk upon.

Allah SWT says in the Quran,

                “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Rad, 13:28)

Step 2

Intrinsic Motivation vs Extrinsic Motivation

The desire to succeed should come from within. If you are guided by extrinsic factors such as fame, wealth, nobility, etc. these factors will fade as you grow. These factors will not create a relentless, determined and a persistent student. What creates persistence and the ability to work hard even when you’d rather rest and relax is the energy which comes from within to succeed and compete.

Therefore, before you even read on to the next step, I suggest that you write down why you wanted to pursue a degree in medicine. What drove this? If it wasn’t from the bottom of your heart initially, did anything change creating a different view you had about medicine during your five academic years? Do you feel as if this is a path you’d want to follow for the rest of your life? Why or why not? What good will you be able to bring to others? What good will you put the time after obtaining the degree?

I strongly believe that re-evaluating your intentions will improve your ability to focus and enjoy what you are learning. Sometimes, laziness stems from a lack of motivation, or when the intention fades away, therefore by renewing the intention to complete your education to the best of your abilities and produce work in the future in order to help others and improve their health conditions, you will not be bogged down by laziness or even fatigue when the going gets tough.

Here is a motto for you, “when the going gets tough, you get tough.” Nothing is impossible.

Step 3

Meticulous Planning and executing

Planning is the key to performing. However, many students plan and fail to execute their plans given a myriad of distractions around them. You need to be a slave to your planning. There are 18 hours a day, (subtracting 6-7 hours of sleep), during which you can achieve a great amount of success if you discipline yourself to a strict routine. Sometimes, the routine will be easy to follow, but at other times it is almost impossible to see the benefit as you get tired and the routine seems monotonous. When such feelings arise, you need to revisit your intentions and use them to fuel yourself.

You need to be realistic when you are making the schedule. You need to dedicate a good amount of time to reading over lecture material and pairing it with the textbook readings in order to ensure that you are covering all material in detail and in patients. For example, for a lecture from a 100page chapter, do not simply assign 1 hour, as this may seem to be realistic. However, instead allocate 2-2.5 hours, enough to learn, master and question the main concepts.

Step 4

Group Study

Reading and studying alone is a great way to focus and understand the material on your own and memorize. However, group studying is a great way to learn from other students and teach others when you have mastered a concept which other students seem to struggle with. In addition, group studying brings a little cheer and excitement to a lonely morning, afternoon, and evening of studying. In certain cases, when you can help others, it also helps you feel good about yourself.

Strengthen your relationship with Allah SWT

The Prophet SAW said:

“He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hell Fire (forever) and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself in the Hell-Fire.” [Sahih Bukhari]

There is also a supplication that you can read as narrated by Anas B Malik:

Anas Ibn Malik said I used to serve the Prophet (ﷺ) and often hear him say: “O Allah, I seek refuge in You from grief and anxiety, from the hardships of debt, and from being overpowered by men.”

We are the slaves of Allah. We have been created to seek happiness, forgiveness, comfort, subsistence, and satisfaction in life from His remembrance. If we seek happiness from anything other than Allah, then we will always be disappointed. Because nothing in life is permanent. We must work on making our source of happiness acts of worship, with the intention of being rewarded by Allah alone.

Therefore, dear sister, feeling suicidal will be a waste of all the four years of your hard work. If Allah SWT helped you through four years of work, why wouldn’t he guide you through your current hardships? Dear sister, rationalize the importance of being a female doctor in an environment and helping women and children navigate their health. You will be such a tremendous blessing to those people.

I pray that Allah SWT changes your situation for the best.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

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6 Tips for Exams Season

 




About Madiha Sadaf

Madiha Sadaf in an undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa, enrolled in BSc. with Major in Biology and Psychology with Minor in Health Social Sciences.

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