How to prevent a mental breakdown whilst at uni
Helloooo people! After spending two and a half years at Warwick, I think I’ve got a rough idea of what usually causes a mental breakdown so I thought I’d share with you some do’s that I’ve found useful in helping me prevent one.
1) Go circling and Pop! every Wednesday cos “(50 pages of untouched reading for tomorrow’s seminar on my desk) (friend knocks on my door and tells me the whole flat is going out) OK! Be ready in 5.”
You’re probably thinking what even is circling? Don’t worry, no one really knew what circling was until the day we officially became part of the Warwick bubble. Circling is basically a group of people (usually dressed up in the funniest costumes you could ever see) sitting in a circle playing drinking games and drinking purple. You’re now probably thinking what the heck is purple, that’s something for you to figure out when you’re here haha. Some say its disgustingly sweet like cough syrup whilst the others seem to like drinking it out of pitchers so I guess it’s kind of like a marmite situation here. Pop! is the club night following circling that happens in the SU building every Wednesday night.
2) Don’t keep a diary cos “I can remember that”
“Yea, a group meeting next Monday right? Cool, I’ll remember that.” Chances are, you’re going to forget that until the thought suddenly appears in your mind for a brief moment and then you realize you’ve already missed half of the meeting… Been there, done that. Everyone is always juggling between commitments at uni, and it’s totally normal to forget something that is more distant from the presence, but keeping a diary around or even just marking it down on the calendar on my phone has definitely reduced the reoccurrence of this situation for me.
3) Eat lots of junk and not exercise cos “ain’t nobody got time for that”
It’s ok to indulge yourself in a pack of skittles and drink coke once in a while, but I would definitely not recommend living off fish fingers and those high-saturated fat ready meals your entire time here at uni. I’ve found that eating a balanced meal and snacking off natural food like bananas and celery have helped with my concentration. Also, personally, I find exercising a very effective way to release stress and stimulate my brain when it’s kind of dead after a looong day at uni. So I try to fit in my workout every day, it being a cycling class at the gym or just a 20-mins jog around campus.
4) Don’t seek advice and help from your academic tutors, lecturers and friends when you’re stuck in an assignment or understanding a theory being taught in lecture cos they’ll just think “man, you’re dumb”
Often, we don’t have a clue what the lecturer is on about in a lecture but we’re too scared to put our hands up to ask cos that’d just be embarrassing. But I’m 100% sure that everyone is on the same boat. So next time, don’t hesitate to raise your hands and ask your lecturer. Or send them an email. Or if approaching academic staff is too intimidating then ask your friend to explain something to you.
5) Leave everything till last minute and pull all-nighters cos “don’t you dare underestimate my power…” (just like what the memes say)
I know for sure I’m not someone who could cope with pressure very well, especially when I knew I could have started writing the lab report weeks ago but still was on the very first page of the report a week before the deadline. For me, I like to start long assignments early as I know from experience that it’s possible that I’ll get stuck at some stage. Therefore, I tend to take break of a day or two to let my mind off the assignment for a bit and go back to it with a fresh brain later. So, it’s basically budgeting some time-offs in your planning.
6) Stay in your room and don’t socialise cos “I need to study”
When I was living on campus in my first year, I literally spent over 80% of my time after lectures socialising with my flatmates in the kitchen catching up, talking about news, playing monopoly… it’s a really good way to wind down in the evenings.
So here are just the six things that I’ve found useful in helping me keep my life together at uni but it might be a totally different story for you. Please feel free to comment below how you cope with stress especially when endless deadlines and exam season are approaching.
See you in the next blog!