So I wanted to blog about stress in university.
There are many different sources of stress, from the most obvious, studying, to less obvious ones like maintaining relationships, friendships etc.
Work/ Study-related Stress
It can be especially stressful during the exam period. Everyone wants to do well and the Student Union knows that as well. That is why they offer a lot of help during the exam periods.
- There are a lot more of study spaces, more open classrooms, cafes open for more hours. This might seem like a small thing but you do not know how stressful it is to look for study spaces in the library until you are here!
- Try not to cram. I am guilty of cramming before an exam… It is super stressful but it works for me. *shoulder shrugging emoji* If you do not know which study-method suits you, SPLASH services in the library can help out a lot! https://www.surrey.ac.uk/student-personal-learning-study-hub-splash
- Many cafes on-campus and in the library itself will offer free drinks and sometimes snacks! This is perfect as free pick-me-ups are the most effective!
- The most important to me is their support services. There is Nightline, a telephone hotline that anyone can call no matter how late it is, just to rant or ask for somebody else’s advice to not make clouded or rash decisions. Of course, there is the Centre for Wellbeing that can really help.
I have personally been through misunderstandings when working in teams, with friends etc, that brought me A LOT of stress.
- Group works are actually stressful especially when you first experience them. However, you are bound to work in a group environment sooner or later and you should use this opportunity to figure out how to work best in a group.
- Seek for help/ support when you are going through a dilemma. When I had some conflicts with my schoolmates back in college, I tried to handle it myself and would often rant to my friends and family. That did not help me as my family could not help me from Malaysia, and my friends were not in the position to. When the situation escalated into something more serious, I plucked up my courage and went to seek help from my personal tutor. Thankfully with her help, the conflict got resolved. You will have a personal tutor in university and you can always go to them for help no matter the problem. If they can’t help you, they will surely point you in the direction of the right person.
- Friendships. I learnt that I have to do a lot more things alone now. Since we are no longer forced to sit in classes together or have lunch together, it is a bit more difficult to find a friend to do everything together with. Be more proactive in talking to people after lectures and sit next to new people during lectures, get out of your comfort zone. But most importantly, learn to be more independent.
- Student Services. I always go to them first if I am unsure of what to do. They will help you to get to where you need.
- Personal tutors. As mentioned, each student should be assigned to a personal tutor. Find out who your PT is and make sure you remember who they are. As an international student on a Tier 4 visa, it is compulsory for you to meet them once every semester anyway.
- On-campus GP. Make sure you register with the in-campus clinic as soon as possible! You never know when you might fall sick and need to visit a doctor. I came down with food poisoning literally the first day of lectures.
- Check your email. I get emails from the Student Union every week about ongoing events. That is how I knew about the additional support and services during the exam period (and other fun stuff happening on campus). Lecturers also might email you about lecture cancellations, extra stuff before exams etc. I turned on the notifications for my university email on my phone so I don’t miss anything important. (One less thing to stress about, whoopee!)
This turned out to be a very wordy post as I am very long-winded. Hehe. I hope this at least helps someone out there!