As freshman week is now upon us I thought I would put together a few helpful tips. The idea of starting university can be daunting and certainly can be stressful whether this is your first year of university or if you are about to head into your final year. I can say from experience that it is easy to let your emotions take over. During my experience I picked up some tips that I feel would be helpful.
How to Survive The Stress Of University
Make sure you look after yourself. Its so easy to get bogged down in assignments and exams that you forget to also take care of your health and well being. A diet of numerous takeouts a week is not going to help. There are lots of healthy non-complicated recipes that will boost your energy levels and therefore lift your spirits. A good starting point would be such cook books as: Joe’s 30 Minute Meals: 100 Quick and Healthy Recipes
Connect with university society groups. Each university is full of lots of different society groups, including sports and arts. Joining a society full of like minded individuals is a great way to blow off steam when you are feeling a little bogged down. You will be surprised at the amount of people that will be in similar situations to yourself and are looking for a little more support. Freshers Week is a great place to start, whether your a first year or heading into your final year if you are looking for a society group utilise Freshers Fair to expand your network.
Remember to take breaks. Getting writers block or even a creative block can be very common when studying. Its very easy to skip meals or ignore your body needs to take a break, by doing so can cause fatigue and yourself to feel additionally stressed. Its good to remember to take regular breaks, whether this is go make a hot drink, or a small walk to get some fresh air. You will be surprised at just how much more productive you will feel.
Keep in regular contact with friends and family. I can’t stress enough the importance of regular contact with your friends and family. Whether you are going to university near home or decided to venture further afield, arranging a catch up with friends or family whether its either in person, on the phone or Skype can be very refreshing especially when you are feeling stressed.
Make an action plan each day. Whether your workload is heavily coursework or exams its a great way to put your studies into perspective and help you be more resourceful with your time by making an action plan. Whether its a simple list of what you want to achieve by the end of the day or something a little more detailed, I found it was helpful to give myself an end goal for the day. By doing so, it also made my evenings feel much more rewarding as I knew I had accomplished what I had outlined for that day.
Plan your dissertation early. You will surprise yourself at how much your dissertation changes from your first draft to your final hand in. Be prepared, that this is one assignment that could make or break your final grade. I began writing my dissertation during my summer vacation from university before we begun our third year. Just spending an hour or so each evening to write a few hundred words you will surprise yourself at how quickly it soon builds up giving you a good base to return to university and begin your final year on a high.
Don’t take everything to heart. Its very easy to feel that your tutors are not on your side and that the comments they are providing on your work are only negative and lack positivity. Its good to remember that your tutors are not delibrately being negative, they are simply trying to help you develop so that you can create and therefore turn in the best piece of work. Try not to disregard the feedback given and instead take on board the comments and either re-develop the on-going project or use the feedback to accomplish a better grade on your next assignment.
You will cry. There were several occasions during my degree I burst into tears, feeling like giving up and that the end result was not going to worth the stress and tears. As hard as it may be, try not to discourage yourself. I remember the moment I opened my degree results, it made all the stress and tears worthwhile. Keep pushing forward and you’ll get there!