Surviving School Stress

With the school year well underway, students are feeling the pressures of academic life.  Depending on work and study load, family obligations, and present living circumstances, the road to a degree can seem impossible.  However, arming ourselves with a clear stress management plan protects us from stress meltdowns.  Soon we’ll see we can weather the storms and discover how much more fair-weathered university life can be.

Staying organized and on top of exam and study times makes us prepared.  Looking ahead and estimating how much time is required to learn and to contact tutors with important questions is imperative to easing exam worries.  Avoid procrastination at all costs.  Committing to study times and maintaining habitual studies is similar to committing to a doctor or other important appointment.  A good education depends on our commitment to seeing it through.

Keeping goals attainable without loading too many expectations are fine recipes for future fulfilled goals and peace of mind.  Being realistic as to what is possible in a week, a month, or a year, and breaking down education into manageable steps safeguards our sanity.

Struggling with stress and anxiety makes us poor decision-makers, and also disrupts clear thinking.  Scheduling rest and relaxation helps us to survive.  Self-care is not selfish, it is essential to well-being.  Meditating, jogging, and hanging out with friends and family are excellent methods of breaking from studies.  Regularly reading something that has nothing to do with schoolwork also offers a revitalizing brain break.

‘Take control of thoughts or they take control of you’—words to live by.  Preventing negative thought spirals from sabotaging success is vital.  Habitually thinking we’ll never pass a test, never understand the course material, or the tutor is out to fail us does not benefit our mental health.  Transform stressful thinking into helpful thinking: I’m going to ace this test because I have a good study schedule in place; I’m going to ask another student and the tutor for help in understanding my course better; my tutor is here to help me succeed and improve with every term.  You get the idea.  Moreover, the more in control of our lives we feel, the less stress will influence our thinking.

Build resilience to stress by eating healthy, well-balanced meals high in vitamins and essential minerals; drinking plenty of water; and arranging sweaty workouts to detoxify the body.  Additionally, talking to a compassionate friend or counselor to work through difficult emotions prevents worry from building up and causing negative impacts.

Psychology and teaching students may find the following article of particular interest: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/stressful-lives/201708/dealing-stress-school-in-age-anxiety.  Certainly, helping others cope with school stress can reduce our own and make us all feel less isolated.

Ultimately, thinking ahead assists us in getting the most out of our education and keeping a calm head at the same time.  Stress is always a part of life, no matter what stage.  Maintaining survival strategies to keep study pressure from overtaking our lives crushes the study stress monster.

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