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Olivia Konadu York College University Centre

Olivia Konadu heads into exam season feeling supported by College Well-being Team after overcoming battle with low mood and depression

Olivia Konadu, an A Level student studying at York College, is gearing up for her AS exams amidst a challenging battle with low mood and depression. Despite facing these obstacles, Olivia refuses to let her mental health struggles define her academic journey.

For Olivia, every day presents a unique set of challenges. The weight of academic expectations coupled with the relentless grip of depression often leaves her feeling overwhelmed and demotivated. However, recognising the importance of her upcoming exams, Olivia knew she needed to seek help in order to prioritise her revision effectively.

“I started to feel low in mood in about January time,” Olivia explains. “This was when my struggles were at their worst. I suffer with low mood and depression and have found all the coursework, revision and exams overwhelming. I just didn’t feel like I could do it and it all felt too much.

“I was feeling so sad and down and so I spoke to my Progress Coach who referred me to the Well-being Team.

“The support the College Well-being Team provide is really generous. You can just drop by and talk to someone. It’s really good to have someone to talk to who knows what they’re doing and they’ve been so nice to me.”

Despite her parents and older sister studying and working in medicine, Olivia chose Sociology, Ancient History, Politics and Film Studies as her College course options, choosing subjects she took an interest in, with Film Studies being her favourite.

“I’ve always struggled with knowing what career I’d like to do,” she adds. “My dad wanted me to get into politics but I’m really enjoying my Film Studies. This is the subject I think I am best at and would like to focus on.”

The York College Well-being Team are a dedicated group of professionals who are committed to supporting students on their mental health journeys. Olivia reached out to them for assistance, and they wasted no time in devising a personalised plan to help her manage her low mood while staying on track with her studies.

With the invaluable support of the York College Well-being Team, she's put plans in place to ensure she stays on track ahead of her upcoming exams, whilst also utilising the Team for support when she requires it.

Moreover, the Well-being Team provided Olivia with coping mechanisms to deal with stress and anxiety during the exam period. Olivia felt supported every step of the way.

Olivia Konadu studying in LRC
Olivia Konadu studying in the York College Learning & Resource Centre

Olivia went on to say that:

“My turning point was speaking to the Well-being Team. I felt I had nobody to talk to before and once I got everything out, I felt better. All I’ve ever wanted was to have someone to listen to me.

“The Well-being Team, especially Julie, helped me to prioritise and to look at what the most important thing is first, then to work through the smaller things afterwards. I knew my exam results could affect the rest of my life, so I needed to prioritise revision. The team also helped me to keep positive. I set things in order for myself so as not to leave things to the last minute.

“My tolerance has become stronger now and, once I got started, the ball kept rolling.”

As Olivia prepares to sit her AS exams, she does so with a renewed sense of determination and self-assurance. She tells her story to us to highlight the importance of seeking help when facing mental health challenges.

Feeling grateful for the support she received, she ended by saying:

“I’d encourage other students to speak with the Well-being Team if they’re struggling. It gives you a whole new perspective on the situation. I’d also say, don’t settle for less for yourself and know your worth.”

Are you a student who is currently sitting exams?

Here are some effective revision tips to help make sure you reach your full potential:

1. Start Early: Begin your revision well in advance of the exam date to avoid cramming. Spreading out your study sessions over time will help reinforce the material better.

2. Organise Your Materials: Gather all your notes, textbooks, and other relevant materials. Organise them by subject or topic to make it easier to locate information when studying.

3. Create a Study Schedule: Develop a realistic study schedule that allocates time for each subject or topic you need to review. Be sure to include breaks to prevent burnout.

4. Use Active Learning Techniques: Instead of simply reading over your notes, actively engage with the material by summarising key points, creating flashcards, or teaching the concepts to someone else.

5. Practice Past Exams: If past exams or practice questions are available, use them to familiarise yourself with the format and types of questions you might encounter on the actual exam.

6. Utilise Mnemonics and Visual Aids: Mnemonics, acronyms, and visual aids like diagrams or mind maps can be powerful tools for memorising information and understanding complex concepts.

7. Study in Different Locations: Changing your study environment can help prevent boredom and increase concentration. Experiment with studying in different places such as libraries, cafes, or outdoor spaces.

8. Stay Healthy: Don't neglect your physical well-being during the revision period. Get enough sleep, eat nutritious meals, and exercise regularly to ensure your body and mind are functioning optimally.

9. Take Regular Breaks: Avoid studying for long stretches without breaks. Take short breaks every hour or so to rest and recharge. This can help improve focus and prevent mental fatigue.

10. Stay Positive: Maintain a positive attitude throughout your revision period. Believe in your abilities and stay motivated by setting realistic goals and celebrating your progress along the way.

Remember, everyone has their own preferred study methods, so feel free to adapt these tips to suit your own learning style and preferences.

Good luck with your exams!

Learn more

For more information on how the York College Well-being Team can support our students, click here.

If you are facing mental health challenges, you can access the York College Well-being Team via the Welcome Desk or by emailing