Stress that’s caused from education and studying is often neglected by older generations who underestimate the pressures that young people now go through. During my time in education, I haven’t received much valuable advice from others regarding stress, and at times I don’t even feel as though I was being taken seriously. Education is known to dampen on our minds and cause an array of mental health problems- stress being one of the most common, yet the idea of stress is constantly perceived to be something reserved only for much older people.
However, moving to university and having to deal with all of life’s twists and turns on my own, enabled me to find the best, stress-free, ways to live and study. Whilst there are many methods of stress management publicised across the web, today I’ll share six ways that I motivate myself and put my health first in order to combat stress.
DIVIDE UP YOUR WORKLOAD
Chances are, at university you’ll no longer have classes every Monday to Friday like you’ve been so used to having; this alone will be a lot of weight off of your shoulders. University is relaxed in this sense; your module materials will all be uploaded at the start of the year as your teachers expect you to learn independently for your course, thus meaning you can manage your time and divide up your workload according to what’s best for you.
I have scheduled classes on two out of five weekdays, and instead of socialising from dawn-till-dusk on my ‘free’ days, I dedicate a few hours to taking notes and getting on with assignments. This not only enables me to stay on top of my reading and lecture notes, but also benefits me in the long run as I’m dedicating time to my course every day rather than just twice a week (this is great if your course requires you to take exams). Dedicating a few short hours a day to study will definitely ensure that you’re always on track to meet deadlines.
BRANCH OUT & BE SOCIAL
I’ll be the first to admit that at times I feel as though I’m forcing myself to be social. I could easily isolate myself for days on end, but I know that isolation is where mental health issues can sprout, and that socialising only enhances university experience. If you’re a fresher or new to university, I can guarantee that half of the people you meet during the first week, month or year, won’t necessarily be the same friends you have after graduation.
University is a conveyor belt of friendships and experiences, and people will come and go in and out of your life faster than they ever have before. This is why it’s so important to continuously put yourself out there, instead of confining yourself to the same people, studying the same things as you. University is the easiest place for friendships to develop simply because you can never have too many friends here. Even if you never see that girl that you spent your entire freshers week partying with, you’ll always have the memories!
We often get so caught up with ‘adulting‘ that we forget about those we left behind when we moved away; sometimes we’re missing home or the people who live back at home without even realising. Contacting those from my hometown, such as friends I spent a lot of time with or family members, always eases my stress and distracts me from university life. Even though they’re only an hour away, living away from home tends to make me feel isolated and as if I’m living in a completely different world. I also try to visit home as often as I can and when possible, even if it’s just for a day or two, so I can refresh my mind and get away from the party & study atmosphere.
PURCHASE THINGS THAT MOTIVATE YOU
This one is huge for me as bedroom decorations, notebooks, pens, post-it notes and all the other student essentials keep me on track and motivate me to keep myself together. Plus, after spending all of that money on pens I’ll definitely lose and notebooks I’ll have to replace, I want to get my moneys worth out of them. It may seem like a waste to some, but decorating my room with lights, plants and all the things I love only makes me feel more comfortable being there. Having a well-organised and pretty desk encourages me to sit at it and get work done. Think about it, when you buy new clothes you’re usually ready to go out soon after because you want somewhere to show off your new clothes.
BREAK THE STUDY-PARTY CYCLE
Believe it or not, there’s tons of things to do at university besides study and party. Don’t get yourself into a habit of going out every night, going to bed at three in the morning, then having to wake up early to make it to your 9am classes; you’ll quickly find yourself stuck in this cycle and extremely sleep deprived. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun every now and then but when you’re skipping more and more classes because you’re sleeping in, your grades will likely be effected.
Instead, try taking part in activities that aren’t class related, and can be enjoyed without excruciatingly loud music and alcohol; go to the gym, join a society, play sports, get a job or volunteer. You’ll of course meet other people doing so, and it’s definitely healthier than partying five times a week.
GET SOME SLEEP
As students, we often (intentionally or not) neglect our health and our sleep due to the constant buzz of things happening around us. During the day, we’re distracted by friends and classes, then at night we want to stay out and have fun. Don’t be the one friend that doesn’t know how to go home after a night out- wondering what the next motive is when it’s already three in the morning. Go. To. Sleep. Take a power nap when you have time in-between classes, or right before you start getting ready to go out. Don’t just get the recommended eight hours, sleep until you’re no longer tired; university is the one place where nobody will judge you for your midday nap.