Monday, 19 February 2018

Coping with Stress at University

I've always considered myself a conscientious yet relaxed and self-assured kinda gal, at least, until I started university in September. Suddenly, I was in charge of my entire life, in a strange city, living with new people, all the while having multiple, intimidating assignments to undertake. Suffice to say, I drowned. But, after some much needed re-evaluation, I decided to set myself some new guidelines to keep me from plummeting into a pit of stress. These might not work for everyone but they have already made a huge difference to my general well-being and grades so far this term.

Set working hour limits. For four years slogging on the 9-5, I functioned well, but this whole "working in your own time" thing, really messed me up. So I set myself a working hour window - which means no more staying up until midnight and beyond trying to crack out that essay. Now, knowing there will be no work after 10pm is already a huge relief, plus it forces me to work smarter during my "working windows".

Make time for breaks and socialising. My most used phrase last term? Easy: "I don't have time for a break"...Oh Hollie, what a downright lie. Honestly there is always time for a break, even if it's just ten minutes to let my brain refresh. Even better, an evening spent away from my laptop, watching Netflix with friends leaves me completely revitalised and my productivity improves - like damn, who knew?!

Prioritise. Might sound obvious, but actually getting the priorities in the right order was apparently not something I could manage last term; I would forget to eat, then not sleep enough and proceed to wonder why my brain didn't want to work properly. Taking care of yourself should always be number one; no essay is worth dying for pals, am I right? (I'm right).

Plan ahead and make lists. Yep, I'm a list person and organisation is one of my favourite things. Everything seems to flow so much better when I've organised how many "working windows" I have, in relation to how much work I have. Also, does making lists where I can physically tick off all my tasks makes me feel more productive? Check✓.  

Cut yourself some slack. Sounds a bit gooey but remembering that I trust myself to get the job done in the end has made one heck of a difference to my work ethic. It's not about working harder, but working smarter, and worrying about work will only help until it surpasses into total fear and stress. So from now on, I remind myself: Hollie u got dis. There is no room for self-depreciation on this blog, a-thank you.

Do you have any tips for coping with stress at university?

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