We've already talked about how to organise your semester to reduce stress and study anxiety. However, it's perfectly ok if we fall behind on some things. The snowball effect of planning assignments, being actively involved in societies, and managing financial strains can start weighing on one’s mind.
In fact, a 2018 ACHA National College reported 63% of students experienced “overwhelming anxiety” during studies, while 23% of participants were treated for anxiety by a mental health expert. If you've been having negative thoughts and feelings, we've brought you tips to adapt and help friends manage the university lifestyle a little easier.
A Healthier Lifestyle and Self-Care
Put that coffee mug down and drink a bottle of water instead! According to a survey on students’ consumption of caffeine, 67% of participants would consume one or more energy drinks due to lack of sleep, and 54% would consume three or more for recreational use (i.e. partying).
By consuming a combination of caffeine, carbonation and alcoholic beverages, alcohol is absorbed faster, increasing physical impairment and desensitising you to intoxication.
A study from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and the HK Institute of Education, outlined college students involved in physical fitness (two times a week) had a higher level of self-esteem and control than the sample of students that did not exercise.
Relieve stress through working out at a recommended three to five times a week, but remember not to overwork yourself! Why not walk to class and avoid dollars or more in bus fees a month travelling to lectures.
When did you last spend time for your family? Whether home is 1000 miles away, or seeing them every morning in the kitchen, setting aside time to catch up is not as bad as it seems. Schedule a family dinner, zoom call, or just check-in with a quick message.
While at university, you can make new friends with study groups, student societies and at uni social events. Get familiar with your universities social hub. Bars and activity centres have weekly organised events for you to participate in and have fun.
Alternatively, make an effort to reach out to academic support. Find an experienced mentor to give you the attention you need to improve your education.
Download Platute from the app store to find and book tutors with ease, you can also join group sessions in your area to meet students studying the same subjects as you.
“No” Your Limit
When responsibilities start piling up, it is always important to reflect whether a commitment is realistic. Karen Dillon informed the Harvard Business Review that everyone “want(s) to be viewed as a ‘yes person’ - a team player”. However, don’t sacrifice your well-being in pursuit of this. Be candid with your lecturers and assignment group members, and maintain a clear message.
Cleanse Your Space
When was the last time you organised your place? According to Curious Mind Magazine, psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter says, “Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, workplaces, and ourselves that leaves us feeling anxious, helpless and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is it recognised as a significant source of stress”. Coordinate with housemates, or stick to a cleaning schedule to ensure an on-going process of cleansing your space.
After an adequate study session, make mundane activities and back to school shopping a group activity with friends. In reverse, why not have fun with the one person you know best (i.e. yourself) to catch up on the latest shows.
Participating in mind-calming activities such as Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, and colouring books can alleviate stress and anxiety. According to a study by the American Journal of Public Health, activities that involved engagement with music, visual arts, movement-based expression, including artistic writing had demonstrated benefits with relieving stress and strain of the chronic disease.
Save Time for Self-Reflection
Look back on recent accomplishments and appreciate not only how it has helped your personal development, but also the individuals involved that kept you on track. In turn, set new goals for the future. Keep track in a journal the emotions and thoughts that you experienced to understand the effects it has on your daily life.
According to a James Cook University research study, 50% of the surveyed full-time students had insufficient funds to buy textbooks, and 30% were unable to afford medication during their studies. In this context, it is understandable for students to undergo anxiety
Still, as suggested in a review in the Medical Teacher Journal, students services “especially counselling services enables expert advice to be given and reinforces referral processes”. Hence, it is always best to identify university student services to manage University life easier.
R U OK? is a suicide prevention charity that engages in life-changing conversations with community members; including a family member, friends or workmates. However, if you have experienced any mental health issues, you can also contact campus counselling services, or refer to the following community services that may be of use to you;
Lifeline Australia (13 11 14)
NSW Mental health line (1800 011 511)
NSW Rape and Domestic Violence Service (1800 424 017)
Suicide callback service (1300 659 467)
MensLine Australia (1300 78 99 78)
If assignments and studies are leaving you frustrated and worn out, help is only a few clicks away. Platute is a free resource that connects you to available tutors. These experienced mentors can help you with any subject down to course specific units. Click here to find out more.