The final year of university is when stress levels are at their highest, and many students can begin to feel a little overwhelmed by all the different things they need to keep track of. As well as making sure your grades stay on track, you also have to be thinking about sending off applications for jobs and internships and try to work out what’s going to happen to you after graduation. The promise of oncoming change in your life is likely to make anyone’s palms sweat, which is why knowing how to juggle those final year stresses is invaluable. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can tackle stress, to make your final year a walk in the park.
1. Sleep to beat stresses
It’s common for students to have irregular sleeping patterns, regularly staying up late or just staying awake all night in a bid to finish a last-minute essay. Though it can be quite fun to go to sleep whenever you like, the human body craves routine, and having an irregular sleep pattern is likely to mean you aren’t receiving the best quality rest that you could be. A lack of sleep then means your body will produce cortisol, the stress hormone, which amplifies your stresses. To make sure you keep your stress levels to a minimum make sure you’re getting enough rest and work towards establishing a sleep schedule, one you should especially stick to during exam season.
2. Eat well
Your body can’t deal with stress properly if you’re not fuelling it with what it needs. As tempting and convenient as it is to live off takeaway until your most recent deadline, it will do you a world of good to cook a healthy, nutritious meal. Taking the time away from your work to focus on something else is also a good idea, as you may find the break gives you the chance to reflect more clearly on the work you’ve just finished.
3. Exercise stresses away
Another healthy approach to beating any final year stresses is exercise. If you’re a regular couch potato, you’re probably not aware of just how good exercise can make you feel, but the rush of endorphins at the end of an intense workout is what will make you feel happy and relaxed. Exercising at least once a week can help to reduce daily stresses but more regularly than this will help you feel even better. You could even join a team doing a sport you enjoy, especially as being social can also help to lower stress levels.
4. Plan, plan, plan
You won’t get anywhere in your final year of university without planning ahead. With a wealth of essay deadlines, exams to revise for and jobs to apply to, being prepared is the key to success. Find out every deadline and exam you have and make a plan of action for when you will be working on various assignments and revising for specific exams. Make sure you leave enough time in your schedule to fit in job applications as and when you see a suitable one crop up. Being prepared will mean you don’t have too much on at once and don’t risk becoming overwhelmed.
Your final year of university should be the one where you aim to fit in as many marks as possible, but that doesn’t mean it should be all work and no play. Taking time away from your studies is essential if you’re hoping to do well, as after a while you may become blinkered to mistakes you’ve been making. Ensuring you have time away to enjoy student living will keep you sane, as well as meaning you get to spend time with your university friends, who may well be living the other side of the country in a few short months. Laugh, listen to music or have a night out dancing with friends. Chances are, you’ll feel more willing to work if you cut yourself some slack every now and again.
How have you been juggling your final year stresses? Let us know in the comments section.