For college and university students, academic life comes with plenty of obstacles. While most people consider the years they spent at college or university to be among their best, they can also be some of the most stressful times in your life. Besides the burden of balancing finances and work, social and academic life, students can feel an overwhelming amount of pressure to succeed. Most students work diligently to meet academic goals, but the pressure to meet these goals can sometimes be too much.
If you're feeling as though you're under an immense amount of pressure to succeed, there are some things you can do to address this stress.
Be Kind to Yourself
Whether you’re currently performing well in school or not, remember that you worked hard to get to where you are. At your lowest points, it’s important (and okay) to remind yourself of this fact. These sorts of reminders can boost your confidence, and confidence equals better academic, social and general performance. It’s also important to remind yourself to take stock of all the resources available to help you succeed. Making some personal changes could also help you reach your goal and keep your sanity. For example:
- Stop second-guessing yourself
- Keep a planner or download an app for help staying organized or practicing effective time-management
- Join a study group
- Don’t overextend yourself by taking on more than you can handle academically or socially
- Remember that your time is valuable and should be managed effectively
- Get plenty of sleep
- Take breaks and don’t be afraid to engage in leisure activities
- Talk to your friends and family daily
- Don’t stress over drops in grades or your social life
- Actively de-stress with exercise, fun activities, a relaxing bath, etc.
If you experience stress, anxiety or academic and social struggles, keep in mind that this happens to nearly every university student, and you can find support from other students, especially those living with or near you in your St. Catharine’s student housing. Regent Student Living is well known for providing supportive environments to students.
Everyone needs someone to talk to, especially new students. Transitioning from high school to college or university can sometimes be difficult and many freshmen experience homesickness, loneliness and anxiety. These factors can make it even harder for students to succeed and cope with stress. For some people the pressure to succeed can worsen anxiety, stress and other problems. Contrarily, immense pressure can cause stress, anxiety and even depression, and the most effective way to deal with pressure is to seek counselling. College and universities offer counselling services designed to help students improve and prevent mental health problems. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to talk to a counsellor.
Ask for Guidance
In many ways, college and university are a network of support. Within this network you will find professors, counsellors, teacher aides (TAs), upperclassman and student groups, clubs and organizations. The people in these groups can provide emotional support, useful tips, other advice, entertainment outlets and friendship. When you feel overwhelmed by assignments, tests, and deadlines, turning to a professional or someone who has been in your shoes creates a plan for success. Just remember that you're not alone when you feel that post-secondary is challenging, and bumps in the road are par for the course. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if or when you experience bumps, it matters how well you navigate around them.