Helpful Student Stress Advice
As any non-student will tell you, being a student is easy. You eat beans on toast, sleep at every opportunity, drink 3-to-a-pint and ‘study’ in whatever time you have left.
As any student will tell you, being a student can be stressful.
Between the ages of 16 and 25 just some of the pressures we can experience include, a whole number of exams – each with varying degrees of significance, coursework, friends, family and relationships, getting on the road, keeping fit, active and healthy, getting and holding down employment and general money management.
For ‘stress’ we have Hans Selye to thank. The Canadian endocrinologist coined the term after conducting a series of deeply scientific experiments on rats. He monitored the rats’ responses to a series of unpleasant conditions including extreme cold and boredom. A far cry from any of the factors us students can face!
Student debt is something all students rightly worry about, no matter how far down the line it may be. As it stands, student debt currently averages around £11,000 per student. The government estimates around one third of students pay the full tuition fees, a third will pay for part of it and the final third will pay nothing. You should check out www.studentfinancedirect.co.uk to see where you stand. Knowing the facts is key to avoiding stress.
Take advantage of ‘student discount’ and any other offers exclusive to students – SPG is packed with great opportunities to save! Small things like using libraries instead of the high street for your book, music and film needs and selling your junk on eBay will help you keep your cash-flow in check. And if you’re filling your own cupboards, there is of course no harm in plumping for supermarket own brands.
Getting employment isn’t always as easy as it can seem and can be incredibly stressful. Just make sure you’ve got a sound CV. Perhaps get hold of a working mate or relative’s and compare it with yours, steal a few key words or phrases! Then be relentless in replying to job ads. And don’t give up, it may be months before you hear back from anyone but the hard work will have been worth it. Don’t get stressed during this time; you’re doing all you can to get work!
Moving around into colleges and Unis is tough. Often you’ll be leaving people behind, be it the family, your school or college friends or your partner – it won’t be easy. The two things to remember are that in this social-networking age, they’ll all be at the other end of the computer. Secondly, everyone around you is in the same boat. Random acts of kindness are a great way of making new buddies, so try some out at every opportunity. Get yourself out and about, enjoying every night out that comes your way; not only will you meet new people, but a shindig is a proven way of combating all sorts of stress.
Exams and Coursework are never going to be stress-free but some of it can be alleviated. Keep all your notes organised and accessible, timetable your revision; making time for going out and whatever else you’d normally do and eat well. Also never forget that there is life after revision and exams.
When things are getting a bit on top of your shoulders head to the gym. Or better still put on the trackies and go for a run. Exercise is a proven form of stress management and is a great time to think about nothing. It’ll also keep you looking at your best which’ll be one less thing to worry about! I’m not for a minute suggesting Dido is good for the soul but middle-of-the-road music is a great way of ‘normalising chemical impulses in the brain,’ so find an artist that has a soothing effect on you and keep them neatly stored in your iPod for when you’re feeling stressed. Talk everything over with your mates; your nearest and dearest will always offer the best advice. If it feels like things are building up a bit, list them and sort them out one at a time.
Most importantly remember to have fun in these years, acquire some tales to tell the grandchildren. And some you couldn’t possibly!
Written by Carl Hemp