Dealing With Stress as a Student
With exam season just behind us and the new semester underway, you might be reflecting on how things went and what you can do to improve your prep next time around. One of the biggest challenges of study, revision, and even managing continuous assessments, is dealing with the stress they can all bring.
Well, the first thing to understand is that it is totally common. Stress is a natural reaction to moments of pressure, it can last for just a moment or even persist across a couple of intense days. Being able to recognise this feeling is the first step to overcoming it. Some telltale signs will include changes in mood, difficulties sleeping and low energy. These things can impact your studies. It’s important to be aware of how to manage this so you can avoid it having a big effect on your college life.
For international students, these things can also be exacerbated by your new environment, unfamiliar topics or being away from your usual support system.
So how can you cope?
How to Deal?
As with lots of things, the skill of dealing with stress will come with time. Dealing with stress will be personal to you – maybe you enjoy listening to music, maybe you would prefer to workout or maybe you prefer to take a complete break and meditate for a while.
Prevention can also be the best solution – identifying reasons you might be getting stressed more often than you would like. Work on finding solutions and adjusting your behaviour to stop the problem at the source. For example, you might find that cramming before exams can be an intense time, so try and work on approaching your studies earlier and gently ramp up to full revision mode.
An important part of overcoming stressful situations is recognising that they are common for other people and that you will find something that works for you!
We have preached plenty about the many positive benefits exercise can have on your physical and mental well-being, but that’s because it’s true! An established routine will raise your concentration levels, release endorphins and put you in a headspace that enables you to decompress more easily.
This doesn’t have to be intense cardio each and every day, but try and stay active as best you can. At Point Campus, it’s as easy as popping down to the gym or fitness studio for a brief workout or even taking a walk through the neighbourhood.
Also, spend some time practising the right way to do warmups and breathing exercises – they can have some great calming effects.
The old saying is true, sometimes it can be as straightforward as mind over matter.
While we certainly can’t control every element of our lives (or the academic year!), we can take control of how we approach these situations. Forward-planning and trying to reframe unexpected situations and problems can allow you to deal with them in an easier way. Even better, chat through these problems with other friends or students and see how they are coping – you may end up reassuring each other!
Sometimes you might have to fake it til’ you make it, but adjusting your attitude can really lessen the dread and help you approach stressful situations with a more positive mindset.
Thankfully, mindfulness and being concerned about your mental well-being are more common than ever. Taking some time for focussed relaxation can go a long way in treating stress or anxiety, and is most often practised through deep breathing or guided meditation.
Some studies show that after eight weeks of regular practice, your body can cope more easily with stressful situations and diffuse tension. We find some of the easiest ways to practise mindfulness are through free apps like The Mindfulness App, Calm and Headspace.
Last but certainly not least is making sure you are well-rested thanks to a good night’s sleep. It can be easy to fall into a rut of going to sleep too late and waking up with low energy only to do it all over again the following day.
Establishing a regular sleep schedule and solid routine is one of the most important aspects of college life. Even on those days where you don’t have early lectures, make sure you are getting up at a decent time and doing something productive.
Navigating a new environment like college, university or even a new student accommodation can be a stressful time. At Point Campus we want to make it as easy as possible for you. Whether that be through some of our useful blogs, or one of our team members here on-site.
So if you have any questions regarding the student experience in Ireland, you can always get in touch over on Facebook or Instagram. If you ever have any questions, just send us a message and our team will try and help out however we can.