How to Combat Stress in University

Graphics and Words by Caitlin Chuah

University life is filled with excitement and memorable adventures, but it also comes with a great deal of stress. Assignments, exams, living alone in an unfamiliar environment…it can all get a bit too much. If not tackled promptly, the negative effects of stress can lead to more serious issues, such as anxiety disorders and depression. To prevent from ever getting to that point, below are a few crucial tips on how to combat stress in university.

Get Enough Sleep

Many students and I must admit, me included, underestimate the importance of sleep. I understand that at night may be the only time for you to unwind, which is many of us stay up late to prolong that relaxed feeling, but if you manage your time well and include enough breaks throughout the day, you won’t feel the need to stay up till 3am. Prioritize getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night. This way, you will not only be recharged and able to focus on your studies, but you are also less likely to fall sick. Remember, lack of sleep equals a weak immune system. The last thing you want to happen during finals week is to be down with the flu!

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Time Management

With any endeavour or project, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Same goes for your university life. Time management is essential to organize yourself and your efforts. One tip is to create a daily “to-do-list”. Note down all of your assignment and exam deadlines, then set daily tasks to help you complete your work before those deadlines. This will prevent any late-night cramming or last-minute work, because you will have completed everything in a progressive and gradual manner.

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Prioritize Taking Breaks

Whether it’s a night-out with friends, catching a movie at the local cinema or simply staying home and doing nothing, be sure to include sufficient breaks and leisure time in your schedule and “to-do-list”. Find an activity that you enjoy doing and use it as a stress outlet. As long as you are able to complete your work before the deadlines, there’s nothing wrong with taking a break! In fact, breaks are essential for you to rest and recoup, allowing you to come back more focused and refreshed to tackle your assignments. 

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Talk to Someone

If the stress is getting too much for you to handle, to the point where it’s affecting your mental health, it’s probably best you talk to someone about it. It could be a friend, calling your mom or even your university’s counsellor. Having someone to rant to and gain sound advice from is essential to help you recover from the negative effects of stress. Set aside some time each week to talk to your person and allow yourself to release the emotions and stress you have been holding onto. 

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