University comes with stress, there’s no way around it. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to eliminate some of the more unnecessary worries. Here are 10 tips on how to stress less at university and hopefully, enjoy more!
1. Be prepared.
The number one strategy I live by is what I call ‘The Mind Dump.’ Throw all of your due dates, meetings, gym sessions and work schedule into a planner and forget about it. A clearer, more organised mind can function better during stress. Sit down on Sunday of every week and plan. You’ll feel better for it.
2. Eat your greens!
Binging on packet ramen sounds incredibly tempting when you’re bogged down in assignments and exam study, but if you can get a meal plan organised for the week (or weeks!) when you know you’ll be focusing on anything other than food can make or break how energised you feel during the exam period.
3. Hit the gym.
It’s a well-known fact that exercise releases ‘happy’ endorphins, so if you’re going to take advantage of that, you might as well do it during the most stressful part of the semester. Try working out 2 or 3 times a week – 30 minutes will do!
4. Change up how you study.
If you’re used to writing out your entire text book as a means to study, why not try flash cards? Changing how you study can potentially increase your memory retention.
5. Don’t starve yourself of sleep.
All-nighters can be helpful every once in a while (but never the night before an exam). However, if you’re the kind of person that lives on all-nighters during heavy work load periods, you could be doing yourself more harm than good (AKA exactly not how to stress less at uni). It’s better to get an early night’s sleep than to stay up well past your usual bed time in a bid to smash out the rest of an essay. You’re better off waking up a little bit early to do that.
6. Pick new scenery.
If you’re someone who gets easily discouraged from studying because you sit in the same old boring desk every day, get out and go for an adventure. I have a list of five or so places I like to go to study and keep them on rotation. It’ll not only motivate you to get up and get dressed (yes, don’t lie – we all lay in bed and ‘study’ sometimes) but it will make sure that your brain doesn’t get bored.
7. Take a break.
I always like to allot times or even full days during my busy periods to just chill. It gives you something to look forward to as well as a chance to recuperate and reset for busier days ahead. Why not take the time to go for a walk, catch up with a friend or even take a relaxing bath or shower to de-stress?
8. Take advantage of your university’s services.
Some unis have services that help with essay writing as well as helping with general spelling and punctuation. If you’re struggling with the format of an assignment don’t hesitate to ask for help. Understanding your assessment tasks and exams might be one of the biggest solution for those wondering how to stress less at uni.
9. Set realistic expectations.
Let’s face it, most of us have unrealistic expectations of ourselves in one way or another. Do yourself a favour and be kind to yourself. If you’re really struggling with lowering your expectations and keeping a positive mindset, consider redirecting them. Instead of aiming for a high distinction, why not aim for trying to study the best you can and being confident in yourself?
10. Have fun!
I know it sounds like a faraway dream, but making sure you’re still having fun during stressful times at uni can keep things in perspective. Have balance between studying and doing thing you enjoy. It might just give you the right mind space to do better in your exams…