How To Beat Stress At University
September 26, 2012
By: Evie Chrysostomou
For many of you first year students straight out of school, or to those of you who are jumping back into University after taking a break, the idea of doing work can be daunting,leaving you stressed and anxious. However, you need not worry as you will find that many others are in the same position, you just need to find a way to study that works best for you. Here’s what you can do to avoid stress and manage your studies in an easy way before the stress of deadlines, presentations and exams takes its toll.
1) Managing your time
The most efficient way to avoid stress is to plan your work. Have a deadline or exams coming up? Pencil it in the dairy so you don’t forget. Keep reminding yourself and count down the days on a calendar, just to make sure. There are a lot of people who have missed exams because they thought it was on a different day, so ensure you’re not one of them!
Print out your timetable, keeping copies in your room and in your diary. It’s easy to forget in the first few days of University where you are meant to be, what classes you have and the room numbers! Make it easy for yourself and always check your email for any class cancellations. Nobody wants to get out of bed for a 9am class when your teacher has emailed you saying it is cancelled!
At the start of University it is easy to underestimate the amount of work you need to do, to read that book, to research that task or plan that essay. In subjects such as English Lit, you need to keep on top of the reading list as you’ll be reading a book a week, and it’s easy to fall behind.Balancing your daily workload alongside daily routines like getting out of bed, showering and making lunch can be hard! So keep in mind how long these tasks take you to complete, so you can manage your time well and be better prepared for when you’re juggling 3 essay deadlines! Always do the work when you are set, working on the most important tasks first. That being said, some people can work well under pressure, it may be that the stress makes them able to do better. However, this can also be a misjudged excuse to leave your work last minute. Do what you feel is best for you.
It’s It is important to make lists and set yourself goals. It can help to keep you motivated, and leave you feeling proud when you have completed all your work. Make sure that your goals are realistic yet challenging. Making goals that are too easy will not challenge you, while making goals too hard to achieve will most likely make you give up. Once your goals are complete, then you can kick back and relax!
3) Keep your room tidy
It’s true what they say, ‘Tidy room, tidy mind.’ Keeping your workspace clean and tidy is also important. Keeping your desk clear, having pens, paper and your diary easily accessible are essential to keeping organised. Having too much on your desk can be distracting, so make sure you put away anything that will stop you from working.You don’t want to clutter your desk. So make sure everything has its place. Try to limit distractions around you, such as turning your iPhone onto Airplane mode when writing essays, to prevent you from texting anyone back, and block Facebook or Twitter from your Internet if you have to.It’s also a good idea to invest in a desk lamp for when you’re pulling an all nighter, and make sure your work chair is comfortable!
Take necessary breaks to keep your stress to a minimum and your head clear. Most people find that working for short bursts and taking breaks is better than working for hours on end. Make your lunch breaks easier by preparing lunch beforehand as it’s easy to get distracted chatting to you’re flatmates in the kitchen! Eat healthily, it’s easy to go for quick and unhealthy foods when revising, but these kinds of foods aren’t the brain food you need. Ensure you eat properly to keep your energy levels up, drink plenty of water and try to cut back on the coffee. If you don’t think you’re ready to go cold turkey on the caffeine, it is recommended that after every cup of coffee you have that you drink water afterwards, in order to rehydrate the body. Many find that exercising in their breaks help them to stay focused on their work. Go for a run round the block to keep you energized and ready to tackle those books!
Make sure you get some sleep! It can be very tempting to stay up late, but to keep your body from running out of fumes, you need 8 hours of sleep at night. Sleeping helps you to remember your notes, as everything your mind learns during the day is being recounted in your sleep. Sleeping actually burns calories too, so listen to your body when it needs some rest!
Keep calm and don’t panic! Most of all it is important that you know you are not alone. There are many people who are there for you in times when you are stressed. It’s good to talk it over with someone, friends, family or other people on your course. Don’t forget you can also talk to your personal tutors and lecturers as they are there to help you. A good mantra to have is ‘Work hard, Play Hard’ so if you’ve been working hard, then you owe it to yourself to relax. Watch a movie with friends, or if you don’t have a lot of time, watch a short TV comedy episode like 2 Broke Girls, or The Big Bang Theory to chill out!