Around this time of year, it become apparent to students that they have exams in a matter of weeks, and coursework deadlines fast approaching. The Easter holidays seem less of a relaxing break and more like the last opportunity to get that 20,000-word dissertation finished, or cram in all the revision last minute (don’t worry we’ve all been there).
Everyone in the Alpha team knows exactly what it’s like to deal with stress while studying- so you can relax, you’re not alone. And look at us now- yes, we still deal with stress (travel insurance is no laughing matter) however we survived the challenges of being a student and came out the other side.
So, we’ve put together a list of all the things that the Alpha team did to deal with stress back in the day when we were students (we hope it helps!).
Silence can be quite intense- it’s a bit like an exam - and no one wants to be reminded of that. So, why not listen to a bit of music? There are plenty of revision playlists on Spotify, so you can put your earphones in and focus on the joys of revision. Now, you may find that playing your favourite music is a bit of a distraction and before you know it, you’re singing along to the music, losing all train of thought. So, why not put something a bit different on? Something that your brain doesn’t recognise (so no Justin Bieber - sorry). Opera, Country, Afropop - whatever you like. Who knows you might just discover a secret love for Heavy Metal?
Teachers go on and on about the importance of being organised, but seriously it matters. Its always good to have a clear plan of what you need to achieve and in what time frame. To help with this, you could get a student planner and write down all your major deadlines. Often at Uni your deadlines seem ages away, but they soon sneak up on you, so here’s our advice. Count three months back before each piece of work is due and from there breakdown the work into planning and writing. Say you give yourself two months to write, well divide that time into the number of words you want to have written each week or the sections you want to have covered. And there you have it, a clear guide of what you need to get done (you’re welcome).
It sounds straightforward, but sticking to it can be difficult. You just need to look at the bigger picture and stick to what you’ve planned, so that you’re not left a week before the deadline having done 100 words and feeling ridiculously stressed.
By setting your own deadlines, you can make sure you’ve finished the work before the official hand in date. So, whilst everyone else is pulling their hair out trying to get it finished, you can kick back and relax- happy days!
When you’ve got loads of work to do, everything just feels a bit doom and gloom. You’re looking outside the library window (having been working all day) to see everyone heading off on a night out- leaving you wondering, will I ever have fun again? (So dramatic but extremely true). So, treat yourself. Now we aren’t saying go on a crazy night out and wake up with the world’s worst hangover. That would be counterproductive and ruin a day that you could have spent getting work done. But why not tell yourself that once you’ve completed the allocated work for the day, you can have/ do something you want. That might be, a trip to the cinema, going out for dinner, having a glass of wine or even a relaxing bath- just something that you enjoy doing that keeps the stress under control.
Rewarding yourself for getting work done will keep you motivated and stop you feeling overwhelmed. Often at Uni, you’re left questioning, have I done enough? You’ve spent all that money to be there, you’re in debt up to your eyeballs and you want to do well. But seriously, treat yourself, there’s no harm in it - you deserve it.
When exams and coursework take over, it can make you forget that Uni is meant to be the best time of your life! Talk to friends, course mates, flatmates, lecturers - literally anyone. If you’re stressed let people know- you’ll probably find you’re all in the same boat and can help support each other.
Make sure you still enjoy your Uni life- providing your time management is good, there’s no reason you can’t go out for a drink or for food. In fact, getting out of your study space is a good thing, it will leave you feeling refreshed and de-stressed. Just make sure that one drink doesn’t turn into getting in at 4 o’clock the next morning!
Exercise is an amazing way of relieving stress. Not only does it improve your physical wellbeing but also helps with your mental health. Find an exercise you enjoy, such as football, yoga, swimming, running, and allocate time in between work/revision to join in. It’s so important that you go, and make time to get away from your study space. You’ll feel so much better for it.
Sometimes, a great way to de-stress is to have something to look forward to. That could be graduating, a trip with friends, travelling, a spa day- literally anything. Plan something exciting so you feel motivated to continue the hard work, knowing there’s an amazing reward at the end.
If you are looking at planning a trip, Alpha offers single trip policies, with European cover for under £15¹ – so that’s one less thing to worry about!
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