Dealing with stress at university
I was so excited for term to start, and it’s been great to catch up with friends and get back into the swing of things. However, third year is really stressful! Third year chemists have their final exams before the Easter holidays so we can spend the final term in the labs, so the number of lectures I’ve had this term already has been pretty intense! While it’s been really interesting, my first two weeks back have been busy to say the least.
It’s taken me a while to realise it’s okay to struggle, and take time out to do things unrelated to my degree. So here are some ways I’ve found to help reduce stress, even when deadlines are looming.
Sometimes making a list of all things you have to do can just make you more stressed, but I find that prioritising my to-do list really helps unjumble my thoughts. While I might have ten things to do ‘at some point’, there are probably only three or four things that need doing urgently. Having it all written down makes it seem much more manageable.
Ask for help
The best thing you can do when you’re struggling, either with stress or specific work, is to ask for help. The likelihood is that your course-mates are in a similar position, and you will always find someone to reassure you or help with a tricky assignment. Then there’s always your personal tutor- if you’re really finding things difficult, they are there to signpost you to a person or service that can help.
Catch up with household tasks
Something that I’ve found hard since returning to Warwick is getting used to doing household chores again. Being on campus for twelve hours and coming home to realise you forgot to buy food and still have washing to do doesn’t make you feel great! So now, (under strict instruction from my mum, who’s been subjected to a number of phone calls from a very stressed Amy) I’ve set aside a morning or two each weekend to get chores done. Looking after yourself is just as important as getting your assignment finished, so don’t feel bad about setting time aside to do other things- you’re still being productive! So, tidy your room, do your food shop, get some clothes washed, (and wash the frying pan that’s been ‘left to soak’ for the last week!) and you’ll start a new week with a weight lifted from your shoulders.
Take time out
Following on from the last point, it’s also important to take time to do things that aren’t ‘productive’ at all! If you work 24/7, you’ll burn out before the end of term, which won’t do anyone any favours. Join a new society, socialise with your friends, or just have an early night! Make sure you’re looking after yourself, and the likelihood is you’ll do better work towards your degree if you come back to it relaxed and happier.
Most importantly, it’s okay to be stressed and struggle at university (we all do at some point or another!), but you just need do things to help reduce it so you can make the most of Warwick.