The Arthritis Newsletter

Winter 2014

‘Tis the Season to be Stressed Out: Arthritis and Final Exams

By Sharan Rai


A full-time student offers advice for handling the pressure of exams.


Arthritis sucks enough by itself. But arthritis paired with final exams? No thanks.


Here are my tips for surviving your exams while staying healthy.


  1. See your institution’s Disability Resource Centre (DRC) (or equivalent). Students with a chronic condition are eligible to register with the DRC. The DRC acts as a link between you and your professors, helping you to manage and adjust deadlines if needed.


  1. Consider your exam schedule and the individual demands of each of your exams. For example, if your final exam is scheduled at 8:00am (when you’re prone to experiencing morning stiffness as a result of rheumatoid arthritis) and requires a lengthy hand-written essay, you can opt to write this exam later in the day with the help of the DRC.


  1. Minimize stress. It’s no secret that stress can exacerbate disease activity. Find time to relax amidst all of your studying. Plan ahead for breaks and don’t skip them! Get a festive latte with your study buddies, or have lunch with your friends.


  1. Don’t forget to take your medications. Once classes are over and exams are in session, the days start to blend into one another. This makes it easy to fall out of routine. However, in addition to the added stress you’re inevitably feeling, the last thing you need is a flare-up simply because you forgot to take your medication.


  1. Remember that you’re awesome. This is especially key – despite having arthritis, you’re still working towards the incredible goal of achieving a post-secondary education. So once you’re done those exams, remember to celebrate being amazing

Best of luck on your final exams!








While these competitions are not yet open, I wanted to make readers aware of these two annual scholarship opportunities. Details for the 2015 competitions will be posted in the new year.


1.       UCBeyond Scholarship Program ($5,000) – Open to post-secondary students with any form of inflammatory arthritis

2.      Lupus Canada Scholarship Program ($2,000) – Open to post-secondary students with systemic lupus erythematosus




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