So, we’re halfway through the academic year… How on Earth did that happen? You’re probably feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and confused as to where all that time disappeared to. Now is the time where the pressure of deadlines and revision sets in, usually fuelled by anxiety over last semester’s results. Not only that, but you’ve had to deal with being asked all through Christmas by distant relatives what you plan to do with your degree, and the following disappointed looks on their faces when you reply, “I have absolutely no idea,” which has now set you into worrying about the future, and if your degree is ever going to be useful. On top of this, you’re most likely starting to get stressed out with flatmates/housemates, with the post-Christmas weight gain, with the depressing weather… I could go on and on.
Remember that you’re definitely not alone. Outside your door, there are thousands of fellow worriers just panicking about their life choices, most likely rocking back and forth in the corner of a darkened room. Well, dearest chums… Stop your mindless worrying; I am here to help! Here are 5 solutions to your various mid-year issues to help you get through the time we have left before the Easter holidays and the impending doom of exams (just kidding).
If the stress of it all is just too much, getting away for a weekend can really help to get your thoughts in order. Seeing family and friends, and being back in your home environment, will reassure you and give you a break from uni life. Also, you can get some free advice from everyone’s favourite therapists: parents. They probably know you better than anyone else, and can help you realise what it is you’re actually worried about.
2. Careers advice
If it’s the job thing that’s on your mind, go and do something about it! The Careers Service advisers (building 37) are super helpful, and you can go for a drop-in appointment (approximately 10-15 minutes) to figure out what you need help with. Then, in a longer appointment, they can assist you with career prospects, employability, or improving your CV. With the summer looming, now is the perfect time to hunt for internships or summer schools, to make that great expanse of time before next year truly worth it.
3. Talk to housemates
Annoyed with cleaning up after everyone? Are you constantly being woken up in the middle of the night to a 3 am rendition of ‘London’s Burning’ outside your door? (No? Just me?) Problems with housemates can really get you down and cause arguments, resulting in an atmosphere of tension and general awkwardness. This one’s pretty simple: talk to them about it. If you’re living with people you like, then surely they’ll understand, and probably have similar gripes that they can get off their chest as well? And, with people you don’t necessarily like and therefore don’t speak to very often, they might not even realise they’ve been irritating you. Don’t let the frustration build up, get it out into the open, and make a healthier living environment for everyone.
To quote Tilly from Miranda: “It’s all about the hobby-dobby-do”. Forgetting all of your cares and doing something completely unrelated will free your mind up from stress, and give you something else to concentrate on. You could read that book you’ve been intending to get around to eventually, or bake some tasty treats to share (another way to resolve house tension!). Even better, get outside and do some exercise. It might still be a little frosty, but it’ll help burn off the said tasty treats, and send your spirits soaring.
5. Gain perspective
After all of this, it pays to remember that uni *deep breath* isn’t everything. Yes, it can affect your future massively, but it’s not the deciding factor of your entire life. Whilst grades are obviously important, so is your emotional and physical well-being. Instead of beating yourself up about being perfect, try to learn to enjoy the experience for how it can enrich you as a person.
Feeling a little less stressed? Probably not. Words aren’t really going to help at all. What will help is action, actually doing something about it, and getting yourself out of the rut. Chill your beans a bit, and find the balance between caring about your course, and caring for yourself.