Returners: dealing with stress as a second year student

By Ewa Giera

Around this time, most of returning students have already settled in their student houses (% of mould per square foot in the bathroom remains a surprise) and have begun to readjust to student life. For some, this includes re-exploring the city night clubs or takeaway nights due to reluctance to cook. Others, however, have begun to realise that this year actually counts towards your final mark, and have therefore started panicking about the pile of module dossiers and unread books neatly stacked one top of the other in that far corner of the bedroom where nobody is that keen to look.

If this sounds like you, do not fear! Here are some ways to help you reduce the stress and encourage productivity during this trying time:

1. Reorganising – A clear environment equals a clear mind – you will often find that studying/reading in a clean room will greatly help you absorb the material (since you won’t be distracted by that set of papers lying about everywhere, or by the smell of your own socks).

2. Planning your work ahead – Buying a student organiser really helps with this, especially if you find yourself having a lot of things to commit to. Simply write down the deadlines, seminars, society meetings and part-time work hours into your weekly schedule and then plan your additional study around it. Some organisers even come with budgeting help and personal development plans, if you’re really into sorting yourself out.

3. Break down all work into small, manageable chunks – I cannot stress this enough, the smaller the chunks are, the easier they are to achieve. The more you cross them off of your planner, the more accomplished you feel, and the more manageable the stress will be.

4. Visit your seminar leaders – They are here to help you, but it’s up to you to chase them up. Question what referencing types they like to see the most, check what they’re looking for in essays the most. Even though they have to adhere to the Senate Marking Scale, they will still have their quirks that you can tailor your essay to. The more you know about what they’re looking for, the less stressed you will be about having to write the essay.

5. Make use of the DOS services – A couple of times a week they offer help with essay writing, maths skills and anything else you might need for academic success. If you’re stressed that your essays are not sounding right or you can’t do that calculation, pay them a visit for almost immediate stress relief. DOS also offer counselling, which might help if everything is just a little bit too overwhelming.

6. UEA Literary Fellows – If you’re a humanities student, you might find more tailored help from one-to-one tutorials that they offer. Sign up on the sheet in the Music building and come along to sort your academic/creative writing out.

7. Meditation/Mindfulness/Yoga – There’s nothing more helpful than just relaxing for a little while – and by relaxing I don’t mean staying in bed until 5pm watching Netflix and ignoring your responsibilities (which we all do, let’s be honest). However, half an hour of meditation a day can really help if you’re looking for a respite from the craziness of university life.

Image from Unsplash

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