It’s that time of the year again-- students in many parts of the world are going back to school. Emphasis on academic achievement has never been so strong. As we return, the workload and pace begin to pick up. It’s always great to push yourself, but at the same time, too much is too much. Here are a few tips to turn to when academic stress spirals out of control.
1. Organize your surroundings-- clutter control!
Your physical space can have an impact on your mental state. A messy workspace causes distress when there are too many things to focus on at once. This calls for clutter control! Make sure that your work space is neat; aim for a minimalistic approach. Invest in some organizers and throw away your scrap paper and finished pens. Reorganize your work area every hour between study sessions.
2. Schedule, schedule, schedule
Good time management is very effective at preventing stress. Before every study session, make a time plan. Personally, I like to specify the amount of time spent on each assessment on a sticky note. This way, I touch base and make progress with all my subjects and avoid doing any last-minute assignments. Drawing a line through each completed assignment gives me a small sense of victory and accomplishment (that is honestly a little addicting). However, it is important to make a realistic plan-- not being able to complete your to-do-list can make the workload pile up again.
3. Put “blocks” in your schedule
It is never efficient nor realistic to study without rest. It is emotionally draining, and it puts you at a high risk of burning out. It is also important to schedule a few personal appointments in between study sessions, such as a lunch break or workout with a friend, to remind yourself to rest. These “blocks” force you to work efficiently as push you onwards with your schedule.
4. Find a study buddy
It definitely feels good to know that you’re not the only one struggling. Find a study buddy or two to help you smooth out a few rough patches. Quiz each other with flashcards. Discuss a complex character. As you offer to help your fellow buddies, you are also building confidence in your knowledge-- kill two birds with one stone!
5. Drink water
...and take good care of your body.Be sure to replenish the nutrients in your body by eating balanced meals.Not giving enough attention to our diets can leave us feeling groggy and tired, which makes us even more vulnerable to stressing out.To stay sharp, invest in fresh produce(check out“ brainfoods ") and stay away from processed food. Your body will thank you!
Academic stress is inevitable, but there are many steps that you can take to mitigate its effects. The 5 tips that I have gathered are helpful to an extent, but it is also up to you to experiment and find out what works best for you.