The final year of university has been one of the most stressful experiences for me. Writing my dissertation, assignments, applying for jobs and attempting to plan a future is a lot of pressure, especially when you’ve been stuck in the university bubble for three years. It’s really strange to think that it’s all coming to an end soon and I’ll be saying goodbye to Lincoln and the place I have called home for the past few years. I’m excited about the future and all it has to offer though.
Stress is something that is expected when you think about a degree and finding coping strategies for the stress is really important. Personally, I try to get myself out of the house and into a space that I find comfortable to work in. This might be the library, a cafe or at a friends house. Instead of rambling on too much I thought I would reach out to a few other students to get their opinions and tips.
Charlotte Olivia / @SimplyLottie / www.simplylottie.co.uk – “People always say that university is the best years of your life, which is true, but they are also some of the most stressful! Juggling workload, finances and making solid friendships can be really hard and I’ve definitely suffered badly from stress at university.
Although it sounds obvious, one thing is finding a place where you can work really well in, not just where your mates like to work, because you might work well in different environments, and a change of scenery can sometimes do the world of good. For me, I tend to relax and get to work in coffee shops by myself and places where there are things going on around me, so I feel less daunted by the prospect of a million pages of reading! I have also found that listening to piano music, or music with no words is really helpful to block out background noise without being distracting, which again helps me to feel a lot calmer. Try not to stress too much, you’re doing great! University is not a time to be too serious, and don’t worry if you get one assignment back that’s not as good as you hoped, or you can’t go out one night because you can’t afford it, there’s ALWAYS next time, and your tutors and friends will be there to help you have the time if your life!”
Michaela Omrod / @MysticalMickey – “I often find myself becoming overwhelmed with deadlines, money stress and future concerns at uni but when everything starts to get too much I take a step back and ask myself how important each of my issues are in the huge spectrum of things and I rationalise each of my problems one by one, even the tiny little concerns I have. It also really helps to talk everything through with friends, family and housemates, because what you see as a huge mountain is often just a tiny stumble in the road. I always remember to take time to myself when I can feel everything becoming too overwhelming and I find having an outlet (mine is painting or writing) is really important! Take time for you, meditate and remember all of the stress is temporary, these feelings will pass.”
Liam O’Dell / @LifeofaThinker / www.thelifeofathinker.wordpress.com – “One thing I’ve learned recently about tackling university stress is that a change of scenery really does help. Over the past three years, in a weird sense, I’ve come to associate my flat with the stress of exams and assignments. Going to the library with a friend and working together can be a great alternative, as it’s not so restrictive and – provided it doesn’t distract you too much – it’s a bit more laidback. Not only that but working at home could also offer the same benefits. The other thing I’d add is that planning is key and a great way of preventing things from being last-minute or spontaneous.”
Nathan Brown / @brownn95 – “Surviving at university is all about mindset. Letting the small things clog up can bring you down further than you’d believe. Don’t be in the mindset that it’s make or break at university, work hard but don’t overwork. Enjoy yourself but don’t push it either. University is also more than just educating you academically. It’s about growing up beyond what you’ve accumulated as a teenager before your degree. It’s about developing internally, emotionally, socially, politically, and in all other walks of personal progression. Always remember that and keep smiling.”
Saffron Watson / @SaffronWatson_ / www.saffronwatson.com – “I was one of those people who really didn’t cope with the stress of university well. At many times throughout my second year, I wanted to quit or finish with a foundation degree. What helped me get back up on my feet was my support network. I had my boyfriend (who was on the same course and we’d been together six years at that point) my mum, dad and my step mum. They were my core support group. They’d listen to my woes, comfort me, and guide me back to my path. I also recommend checking out your university counselling service, they can provide some insight into dealing with stress and workloads. Make sure you can take some time out, I find that having a day “off grid” helps me. I won’t look at my phone or social media, I’ll either catch up on Netflix or do a deep clean of my room/house as I find cleaning to be therapeutic and it clears my head. And I think most importantly preparation is key to anything but set yourself realistic goals for your work.”
Emma Louise / @idgidigital / www.idGi.co.uk – “It is important to do as much exercise as possible, even if it is just walking to uni instead of getting the bus. When I started to feel a bit stressed and overwhelmed going out and exercising was the perfect way to release endorphins. I always did so much and spent a lot of time writing in my small uni room and I was more productive once I’d had a bit of exercise first! It is miraculous!”
I hope you enjoyed this post and the wise words of all these lovely people! What are your coping strategies? Comment below or tweet me @jasminwbu