“So, you’ve flown the nest. You’re spreading your figurative wings. Your future beckons to you from the distance; your independence cushioned in an horizon of dreams, parties, and adulting. What a sight to behold.
That is, until you’re in the air and realise you’ve gained a stone, blown through your student finance, spend the majority of your time sleeping, and are having an identity crisis.
Welcome to university life. Here’s how to ‘cope’.
1. Look after number one
Imagine yourself standing in quicksand with the weight of the world balanced on your shoulders – that is university. The feeling of being sandwiched between crushing pressure and descending hope; but what is a sandwich if not the filling? YOU maketh these slices of soul destruction. Now, that’s not an invitation to be arrogant, but rather an order to take care of yourself.
No degree will ever be more important than your physical and mental health; so exercise, eat healthily, sleep well, and take the time to recharge.
You can’t do your best unless you’re at your best.
2. Always remember you’re not alone
You’ll be pleased to know that you’re all in the same boat at university. It’s just, your boat is sinking, water is gushing incessantly aboard, and your maydays are muffled by the sound of your deadlines not giving a crap. Yet, if you all work together, you’ll be able to stay afloat.
University should be your home away from home and the people will become your second family if you let them (annoying relatives included).
Talk to someone if you’re feeling overwhelmed, whether it’s a student on your course, a room mate, or a member of staff.
3. Don’t try to do too much
Did you hear about the student who worked himself/herself into the ground? No? Exactly – because at the end of the degree, he/she graduated just like everyone else. When you’re at your lowest, the university will try to entice you into selling your soul for a first. DON’T DO IT. The best way to cope with pressure is to avoid creating unnecessary causes. Do the set workload, take on only what you can handle, and try your hardest.
You’re a person, not a grade, and most definitely not a piece of paper.
Never let anyone convince you otherwise.
4. Have a distraction
Your rationale is going to strongly advise you to stay put, but that doesn’t mean you can’t run away mentally.
You’re going to need to escape from time to time, let alone want to; so make sure you have something or someone to escape to.
Maybe you’ll reside in the pages of a novel, or maybe you’ll pretend Kris Jenner has adopted you and spend your evenings keeping up with your ‘siblings’. You could try a new sport, play an instrument, or become Mary Berry/Paul Hollywood 2.0. It doesn’t matter so long as it helps you keep going.
5. Have a schedule
The best way to deal with disorganised thoughts is to put them on paper; better yet, to put them in a dated, time allocation diary. It will really help to know that on Monday you’re going to curl up in a foetal position and question your life choices, and that on Tuesday you’re going to snap out of it and realise you’ve got this.
If you tackle your assignments on a whim, you’re going to drown in a sea of them.
The best way to manage your modules is to plan your time, make a to-do list, and distribute your workload evenly. Remember – he who went in head first landed ass first.
University is hard, but I promise you, it’s worth it.”