Image Source: Woman’s Day
By Eden Panozzo | @EdenPanozzo
With the end of study period two and most university students’ first semester fast approaching, many students are feeling the overwhelming pressure of final assessments and exams.
This pressure can lead to an increase in stress and anxiety levels, and can have a lasting negative impact on students.
A survey conducted by headspace and the National Union of Students revealed 83.2 per cent of students said that stress was impacting their studies, with almost 70 per cent of respondents rating their mental health as poor to fair.
In addition to non-university-related stress and problems many students face, the demands of university can often have a serious effect on student’s wellbeing.
“Workload, looming deadlines, relationship problems, financial difficulties, drug and alcohol use, it’s a long list that students themselves say have a detrimental impact,” National Union of Students Welfare Officer Jill Molloy said.
While it can become easy for students to let stress and anxiety overwhelm them, it is important they take some time out to properly take care of themselves.
On The Record have some tips to help reduce stress, particularly during the race to the end of the semester:
- Get into a sleep schedule.
Setting a regular time to go to sleep and wake up will help your body recuperate each night and ensure you are getting a decent amount of sleep. Seven to eight hours a night is ideal.
- Eat properly.
One thing many students forget to do is to eat at regular times, and when they do eat they are not always healthy options. Your brain will function better if you are fuelling your body with healthy options such as fruits and vegetables. Also be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Set up a study space.
Having a designated study space can help you focus on the task at hand. Make sure it is comfortable, well-lit and is distraction-free.
- Do not overwork yourself.
Know when to take a study break. Studies have shown that the human brain concentrates best in approximately 60 to 90 minute intervals so include break times in your study plan.
- Do not forget about your physical health.
Doing any kind of physical activity will not only keep your body healthy, it will give you an opportunity to take your mind off anything stressing you out. Even going for a 10-minute walk every day can make a huge difference.
- Arrange your work commitments.
Let your employer know that you will be under more pressure from university and organise changes in shifts accordingly. It is only for a few weeks and you will perform much better if you know you do not have a full work schedule.
- Talk to people close to you.
Your friends and family are here to support you and talking and connecting with them can be a great way to relieve some of the stress or anxiety you may be feeling. It is also important to keep up your social life to ensure you do not begin to feel isolated. It is surprising how many people you know may be feeling the same.
- Above all, stay positive.
At the end of the day an exam is only a few hours of an academic career and grades do not define a student.
A person’s mental health is incredibly important, and students should be actively working to upkeep theirs as well as they can.
If you are dealing with depressive thoughts or feel extremely stressed reach out to someone you trust or contact headspace.
The University of South Australia also offers a range of resourcesto help students with their health and wellbeing and how to deal with anxiety and stress.