Tips for when university seems overwhelming
The university experience will differ between individuals, and while for most people it is a really enjoyable time, it does not often go without its difficulties. Sometimes, being away from home, studying an intense course, and feeling like your to-do list is stacking up day by day can just feel a bit too much.
Over the past two years of university, I have been all too familiar with this feeling, particularly when important deadlines are coming up. So, I have compiled some advice for when you start feeling overwhelmed.
- Check in with yourself – are external events causing your stress, such as assignments, relationship issues (etcetera)?
Is some stuff happening internally that is causing or exacerbating how you feel? Try and consider these questions : Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating well? Are you getting out the house every day? How does your mental health feel? Often, external events may be made much worse by how we are feeling inside. Sometimes, what is happening outside actually bears no issue, but is made to feel overwhelming because of how we feel in terms of our wellbeing. If this appears to be the case, then it might be a good idea to seek some help for your general wellbeing.
- Prioritise your tasks based on what needs to be done soon / what is stressing you out the most – when we have a lot to do, both personally and academically, it can seem all too tempting to start with the mundane, easy, stress-free tasks, such as doing work for that module you really like and find easy.
However, often, when we have thoughts about activities that need doing in the back of our minds that we fear or dread, it can cause a huge build up of stress. To take a non-academic example, for MONTHS I held off finding a driving instructor because I really just didn’t want to start learning! This made me feel stressed and guilty, because it lingered in my mind until I did it.
Another example is seemingly simple activities, that can be done in literally minutes – like booking doctors appointments, that we may push aside, but just cause unnecessary stress until done. Getting these tasks out of the way can free up a lot of space in our minds.
- Talk it out – whether this is to a friend, family member, or a wellbeing advisor – sometimes just talking about what is causing these feelings can cause a bit of relief. People in your life may be able to give you a different perspective with regards to an issue, or just be there to comfort you. Don’t feel like you have to remain in a state of stress on your own!
I hope that if you ever feel overwhelmed while at university, that you may feel that some of these tips could help.
Remember, the wellbeing services are here to help if you are struggling and feel that you need someone outside of your personal relationships to talk to : https://warwick.ac.uk/services/wss/