Stress at university can be caused by a host of factors such as finances, relationships or getting used to a new environment. However, this article will discuss work related stress at university and how you can deal with it. The first thing to understand is that work related stress tends to be based around deadlines and a fear of not meeting them. For example a fast looming exam that you don’t feel prepared for. Stress is dangerous is because it can be paralysing, you may have a fear of not knowing what to do, and therefore do nothing until your back is against the wall, resulting in more stress. Eventually the stress of university can lead to depression.
At university don’t try to reduce stress, use it
However stress is a powerful tool, you’ll notice I make no mention of reducing stress because the anxiety you feel actually helps you get the job done. Being worried means you may no longer enjoy watching a TV show you might otherwise have, or you may not feel like going out. That’s good! Your stress when used effectively will motivate you to study for your exams or to complete your work in good time for a deadline. You should see stress as a cue to get to work, and get to it!
Where stress doesn’t help is during an exam when your fear of not having revised enough impedes your thought. Don’t lose heart! A vast majority of students regularly underestimate their performances at exams due to having done most of their revision at the last minute. Yet they come out far better than they had expected. Realise that it’s alright to be nervous, and that even though you feel you haven’t done enough. You probably have.
Dealing with bad stress
Your feeling of helplessness is probably caused by you not making any progress towards your goals. The important part is start somewhere, if you have no idea how to revise, take a read through the topics you’ve covered in your textbook and do some independent research about your topic on Google. Once you get into a routine, you’ll find newer more efficient ways of revising.
You’re at university, you’re paying to be there so you can learn, it should thus be your number one priority! Anything else comes after that. Structure your time to give you a block of time each day in which your sole focus is your learning. During that time you must have no distractions whatsoever, no music, no Facebook and turn off your phone. During your research on the internet if you realise you’re straying off topic, get back on track. Nothing, else, must come between you and your study.
The above is difficult, and intentionally so. When you’re bored and wish you could do something else focus on that feeling and remember it. Remember each and every moment where you wanted to do other things but kept revising until your revision time was over. These memories will go a long way to combating harmful stress at university because when you’re about to have a panic attack during your exam, you can look back on every sacrifice you’ve made to revise each day no matter what and when you’re inclined to think that you haven’t revised enough. Deep down you will be able to tell yourself you have.
The reason why I’m telling you it’s an obligation to make all these sacrifices is time management. Your objective is to work with extreme dedication for as long as it takes, but not one second more. You must work hard so that when the time to rest comes, you can enjoy your life! At university, going out with friends isn’t something you could do, it’s something you must. You must go out, you must do things to enjoy, you MUST have fun! You must not have a voice in the back of your mind that says “I haven’t done any work” to ruin your time out
Have you ever seen 100m sprinters keep sprinting past the finish line? No, it’d be beyond stupid. Then why would you work more than you need to?
If all you do is study, it will become the only thing you think about. You may easily be achieving your targets, but living a one dimensional life will lead you to be anxious anyway. Can you see how terrible this is? Working hard enough so that you aren’t stressed but still being so? I mentioned that at university learning should be your number one priority. But learning should NOT be the only thing you think of, if your mind is always preoccupied by your course, you might miss the beautiful girls moments that pass you by.
Managing your work stress at university is all about making sure you work when you need to. And you don’t work when you don’t need to. Simply maintain a balanced life, do your work when you have to so you can have fun when you want to.