Are you OK?
Regardless of whether you’re a new fresher or an experienced third year, university life can be overwhelming. Whether this is trying to stay on top of your workload, or trying to do too many extracurricular activities at the same time, you can end up spreading yourself too thinly.
The number one priority is you and your health. Everybody gets ill at this time of the year (me included), so if this means you email your seminar tutor explaining that you need to miss your seminar because you’re sick or you miss some of your society or sports sessions, then so be it. I have done both of these things and felt hugely better as a result. I cannot emphasis enough the importance of rest and sleep; your body uses this time to heal and repair itself, and so you can only get better if you allow yourself to.
Looking after your mental health is just as important. Doing too much can not only lead to physical sickness but a deterioration in your mental health as well. Overworking (regardless of whether this involves academic, physical, or social activity) can lead to panic attacks and unnecessary and unhealthy feelings of pressure and stress. The first step to combatting this is to say no; say no to that extra favour someone is asking of you. At the time it may only seem like you’re being asked to complete a little task, but these little things add up and can contribute towards more intense and negative feelings if you’re not careful. This is all the more frustrating when you can’t pinpoint your unhappiness to a single large factor, as it is made up of seemingly small and insignificant factors. (Another tip: don’t feel guilty about saying no; this just leads to yet more unhappy thoughts.)
At the end of the day, you need to look after yourself before you look after anyone else. So often we are taught to put others first and most of the time this is a good moral principle to live by, as long as it is not at the expense of yourself. Your seminar reading is not the most important in your life, playing in that sports match is not the most important thing in your life, sorting out your friend’s relationship drama is not the most important thing in your life, you are.