Helping a Friend… Who’s Stressed about Deadlines

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I think it’s safe to say that deadlines are one of the most unpleasant and stressful things about university.  It doesn’t help that they seem to creep up on us and then out of nowhere we have about fifteen essays and tests to prepare for all within a few days.  While deadline season can be scary and even depressing for some, there are ways you can help friends who you think might be struggling to stay on top of things.

Firstly, you can offer to study with your friends who might be stressed about deadlines. While this isn’t helpful for everyone, it can be a great way of helping some people focus.  Lots of us tend to procrastinate even more than usual when we have deadlines because the task at hand is too daunting to actually sit down and face, so working alongside your friends can help them avoid procrastination.  You could even take this a step further and revise with your friends if they have tests coming up.  A great way to revise is to teach someone else the content you’re trying to understand or remember, so suggesting this technique to your friends could both help them prepare for their tests, and make them feel less lonely during deadline season.

However, some people just don’t work well with company, and that’s okay.  If this is the case for your stressed-out friends, then knock on their door every now and then, if you live together, or drop them a message to make sure they’re alright.  This will help to make sure that they remember that they’re not alone, even though trying to complete assignments on time can be quite isolating.  Having said this, try and discourage your friends from going on their phones while working because it’ll slow them down and make studying seem to take much longer than it needs to. If you live together, you could even leave your phones in a separate room while working so there’s no temptation to keep checking Instagram.

Scheduling study breaks so you share them with your friends can be a great way of giving both of you some time to chill and feel supported.  If your friends are reluctant about this because they want to keep working then just remind them of how many hours there are in the day – there’s definitely time for a quick cuppa and a chat!  It’s also nice to try and eat dinner together in the evening and perhaps watch some TV.  Even if your friends have to get back to work after eating, dinner is a great time to socialise with the rest of the house or flat who they might not see otherwise during the day.

Perhaps the best way you can help your friends through deadline stress is to make some exciting plans for when they’re over.  This can be especially fun to organise with course-mates who might all finish their assignments on the same day.  You could choose to go on a crazy night out, for a cute cocktail evening, have a movie night, or even just go for coffee or brunch after a test.  The main thing is to remind your friends that deadlines will be finished as quickly as they arrive, and it’ll feel great when they’re all done.  Just try and help your friends focus on the light at the end of the tunnel!

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