When things get a little tough
People always say university is supposed to be an amazing time of your life and for the most part this is true. But, things can get tough sometimes. And that’s ok. Although it may not always seem so, everybody goes through difficult periods. Talking about it with someone you trust or even just knowing that others struggle too can be really helpful. So, here are a few things that come up for me from time to time and how I try to deal with them.
StressWork accumulates, deadlines approach quickly, extra-curricular activities and commitments require attention and unexpected events disturb. This is all very likely to raise stress levels but with the right mindset, it shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, I always try to transform my stress into motivation and healthy pressure to get things done. Having a to-do list and systematically ticking things off it is something I also find very helpful. But this is often easier said than done and stress can quickly become paralysing and unsettling. Though it might sound silly and a bit cliché, sometimes I am too stressed to realize I am stressed. As soon as I realise I am in over my head, I can actively do something about it. That’s when I can take a step back, motivate myself again, make a list and actively do something that relaxes me or makes me feel like I am in control. This can vary from going to the gym, taking a long shower and applying a face mask to meal prepping. The bottom line is, the more self-aware you are, the easier is it to recognize and deal with stress. Homesickness I have written a post about homesickness before and I think it is something that shouldn’t be underestimated. Although home is not halfway across the world for me, it is still a very different environment to the one at university, with different people in it and a different lifestyle altogether. Social media posts of my friends back home skiing during the weekends or having dinner with their families stings just a little sometimes. But, whether that ever so slight feeling of homesickness creeps in, I force myself to remember that everyone back home is also at work, that it rains there too and that they too have to cook, do laundry and administrative tasks. Ultimately, remembering all this helps me appreciate my time in England so much more and enjoy and value my time back home to the fullest Career Another aspect of university life that can get a bit overwhelming is your future career. Your friends, coursemates or flatmates are likely to be talking about the various internships, vacation schemes or work experiences they have applied for or secured. It is difficult to not feel insecure or doubt yourself if you haven’t applied yet, didn’t get an offer or have chosen a completely different path to that of the commercial industry. Again, self-awareness and trusting your own career path is very important if you want to make sure you aren’t affected by what others around you are saying. There is a difference between listening to people to learn from their experiences and putting unnecessary pressure on yourself and letting it get to you. Social life Finally then, balancing various commitments with a healthy social life can be challenging. I find it helpful to focus on spending and dedicating time to the people that are important to me and who I actually enjoy spending time with. Having a good time, whether this is going clubbing or catching up over coffee with people you like will make you feel like you spent your time well, will generate positive energy and it is a great way to relax. Overall, what helps me most with coping with all of the above, is trying my best to be self-aware and to trust myself. The more confident I feel about myself, my choices and my end goals, the easier it will be to handle stress and other moments of doubt. Remind yourself that you’re doing things well and be proud of what you’re doing! As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to chat about any of this. I would be more than happy to!