How to look after your wellbeing at university
I have just finished my exams a couple of days ago and exhaustion as well as sleep deprived are not even close to describe how I am feeling right now. I have never found it easy do deal with exam pressure as I am a natural worrier. I tend to overthink exams before, during and after the whole exam episode is over and dwell way too much on each exam than is healthy. However, over the years I have learnt a few techniques that have helped me to successfully cope with exams as well as looking after my mental health.
1. Speak to people – if you’re worried or concerned make sure you speak to someone that could provide you with great advice. Especially this exam season I found it very useful as I approached one of my friend’s older sister on social media and genuinely asked her how she deals with third year exam stress. Her advice was extremely useful, but mostly it was just the fact that I could open up to her about all this. Keeping all your emotions bottled up is not going to help you!
2. Take plenty of breaks – Don’t try to cram your entire module into one day of revision. Ideally you’ll have started weeks/months in advance, but if not and you only have little time left, break your module into smaller sub-sections and make sure you leave yourself plenty of breaks in between revision times as your brain needs the break to function more effectively.
3. Reward yourself – After every big chunk of revision/exam is over, maybe treat yourself to something nice like a chocolate bar or just a coffee session with friends. It’ll keep your mind more relaxed.
4. Keep active – Go to the gym or just start doing some long walks around the area you live with some classical music playing in the background. This not only helps you to keep healthy and feel better, but also allows you to sleep well and concentrate well. This is a rather beneficial factor for your mental health.
5. Join societies – I think this one I have mentioned a few times, but honestly if there is something you enjoy and there’s a society for it, then make sure you join it. Otherwise why not consider creating your own society with friends?
6. Ask for help – If you honestly feel like you can’t handle something on your own, make sure you tell your closest ones like your friends and family. But also Warwick has a Wellbeing Centre, where people are able to speak to others and get expert advice. There’s also something known as the NightLine on campus which allows students to mention their concerns to people who will listen and empathise wherever needed.
I hope some of these pointers have been quite helpful. Your wellbeing is the most important thing and something you should always look after. At university times can get tough especially when you have more than one thing affecting you. During exam season I felt it the worst this year round as I’ve pretty much had a breakdown before every single exam, however it made me realise that it is important to open up to people and not overthink certain things.
If you would like any advice on any of this please do comment or email me and I’d be happy to help.