Whether is it managing timetabled classes or preparing for assessment Law School and University can be stressful, and sometimes stress is inevitable. Learning ways to cope and minimise stress can be really beneficial to prevent a stress overload and to enjoy your time at University.
Every student will deal with stress in one way or another, so remember that you are not alone! Here are some ways in which to minimise stress, and ways in which stress may be caused at University.
Being organised can be a really simple way to minimise stress. By writing down either in a diary or in an outlook calendar all of your scheduled lectures and tutorials so that you know where you need to be and when can make daily and weekly routines feel a lot clearer and less intimidating.
A good way to do this would be to start by placing all of your fixed plans into your diary, for example; lectures, tutorials, work, MCQ deadlines and assessment deadlines. Then you can start adding in the preparation work that you will need to do for tutorials and assessment; by distinguishing between the high and low priority jobs will also be really helpful to prevent the feeling of falling behind.
Finally you will then be able to see when you have free time to do anything you like.
By being organised you are also preventing yourself from feeling like there isn’t enough time to get work done; it will allow you to break up your work into realistic manageable chunks – in the long run also making you feel more motivated and accomplished.
Another way in which you can be more organised to minimise stress is to have all of your work in safe places (not an actual safe of course) but have all of your lecture notes for a particular module in one folder, so when it comes to assessment and for example you need to know the topics from weeks 3&4, then you know exactly where to find it, easily and can hit the ground running with preparing and researching for assessment.
Following on from being organised another way in which you can minimise stress is by making sure you have a study-life balance.
This is so important to prevent the feeling of being overwhelmed and lost within your degree.
A great tip which I got told is to treat my degree like a 9-5 job. Most of the teaching at University will be within the hours of 9-6; but if you follow this routine, you will unknowingly be giving yourself a study-life balance which helps you to get everything done that you need to, without taking up every hour of every day.
In the time which you don’t have lectures or research to do; do something that you enjoy and that makes you smile every day. Whether it be to go on a walk; watch a new TV show that you’ve been waiting to watch; having a pamper evening or even just to do absolutely nothing – whatever it may be, make sure you give yourself time to do it.
Studying and University life can feel very consuming at times, so by giving yourself the time to step away from it and spend time doing something else will also have a positive impact on your studies as you can approach your daily tasks with a happier and clearer mind. Socialising and spending time with friends and family is also a really great way to achieve a study-life balance.
As you will now know 6 weeks into the Autumn term, University is a big jump from School and Sixth form.
For some, it may be the first time living away from home and experiencing a new level of independence which in itself can be scary, overwhelming and intimidating; for others you may have to commute either by train or car which also can be scary as you have to become a lot more organised and prepared ahead of time.This is totally normal!
My tips for living away from home may sound cliché but they do really help adjusting and preventing stress:
1. Make a weekly budget – this can be really helpful to make sure that you have enough money for food, going out and any treats which you may want to get.
2. Socialise with flat mates/ classmates and everyone in between – this can really help prevent the feeling of loneliness and the University is full of so many amazing people in which will probably feeling just as anxious as you so having those people to talk to can be so helpful.
3. Keep in contact with people from home regularly – it can be really comforting having those regular catch ups with people and telling them all the highs and lows of University life.
4. Self-care is very important to make sure you continue to look after yourself 5. If you are really struggling with adjusting to living away from home the Wellbeing and Support Team will be able to give you some more specific coping tips and support.
1. Plan your journey – if you’re driving check the traffic ahead of time to prevent the stress of running late to classes or lectures/ if getting train or bus etc. make sure you give yourself plenty of time for any delays.
2. Make that time to socialise – being a commuter student can feel very isolating at times, so ensure you give yourself the time to get to know the people around you ad make friends. University is a lot more independent than school in terms of studying as well – if you miss a class or a lecture you won’t get told off or get a detention which you may at school. This means that you have to be proactive in making sure that you remember your deadlines and your scheduled teaching, which at first can take some time to get used to.
Some general ways in which to reduce stress
1. Try and get a good amount of good quality sleep – feeling refreshed and ready for the day allows you to keep on top of studies and other activities; whereas if you are always tired this can start to become difficult.
2. Try to eat good food – we all love a takeaway every now and then, but junk foods can make you feel not so great in yourself and unmotivated.
3. Listen to music you love – when walking to campus or chilling at home, listening to good music that you enjoy can release loads of endorphins which will make you feel so much better.
4. Take regular breaks from work – this will help prevent the feeling of burning out and being overwhelmed – this will also help to do better quality work too.
5. Try and get fresh air and exercise once a day – this is something I always try to do to make me feel a lot better, and in the morning really wakes me up for the day.
6. Socialise with friends – as already mentioned this can be really helpful to forget about University stress every now and then or talk to your friends about your stresses as they may have ways to help manage stress.
24 Hour Student Wellbeing Support Line: 0800 970 5020
You can also contact Bev Jackson, your personal tutor or your Law Star if you would like some help for particular issues, or would like to be directed to the right place for support.
Lauren is a final year law student doing a straight LLB degree, and also a returning Law Star. She is excited to continue to help support law students throughout their studies. After she graduates, I would really like to work within the media realm of law as it is something she finds really interesting and a career she would really love to pursue.'
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