By Sophie Hales.
For most students, university can be the best time of your life; meeting new friends, partying and for some, living in a new city. However, it can also be an extremely stressful time of your life. Exam and deadline season can cause high levels of anxiety, exhaustion and pressure which may result in the hindrance of your studies. Here are some handy tips to help any student deal with stress.
Let’s be honest every student has been here; just a minute ago it was the first week of semester. The next, you have four essays due in the same week, and you’re now sat wondering where all your time went. The key to a successful academic year at university is to plan, plan, plan. Begin the year with a written schedule, breaking down all your deadlines into manageable chunks and set dates to finish the work by. Also, think about planning a weekly money budget, this will keep you on top of your finances and may even leave you some left over for a fun night out.
Eat, drink and exercise often
A poor diet and getting minimal amounts of movement into your day can increase symptoms of anxiety. Try swapping those greasy takeaways and liters of caffeine for healthy home-made dinners and lots of water. Along with eating and drinking regularly, exercising often can help. Leaving your desk for a short walk or run can refresh and distract your mind from your work for a short while. As well as keeping you active, exercise is known to be a mood booster and can help to make you more productive whilst studying.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP!! This one thing that cannot be stressed enough. Often students are known for pulling all-nighters, whether that be coming in from a club at early hours or staying up all night to finish work. When we are tired it becomes nearly impossible to achieve high standards of work, it’s essential to get enough sleep as a student, aim for at least 7-9 hours a night. That way you’ll also be less likely to sleep in and miss those godawful 9ams.
Isolation can be common for some students which can leave a negative impact on your happiness. Ensure you keep in regular contact with friends or family members, they are the ones who know you best and care about you the most. A good friend will always be happy to talk.
Asking for help from your lectures and peers can also drastically reduce stress levels. If you are unsure about something make sure you find out what you need to know, it’s better talking about a problem and getting a quick solution, than regretting it after it’s too late. Most universities also have welfare/advice teams that will available to offer advice to anyone that needs it.
Set realistic goals
Its important to set yourself realistic goals, of course every student wants to achieve the best, but you must make sure you are aiming for something realistic. By accepting your situation and working within the realms of what you have maximises your productivity without the risk of burning yourself out. Also learning to be positive can reduce stress levels. For example, instead of thinking ‘If I don’t get at a 1st, I am a failure’, think ‘Whatever I achieve, I will be proud of myself as I know I tried my best.” For any student it’s important to be kind to yourself, after all you are also here to enjoy yourself.
Finally good luck, you will smash it!