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Managing your back to uni stress

The summer is drawing to a close, and students like myself are preparing to return to class. As a Media Production student entering my third year at Bournemouth University, I’ve definitely picked up some tips and tools to help manage my back to uni stress levels and look after my mental health. There is no doubt that the first step should be to put your mind first, and if you do that, you may find that the external things fall into place naturally. This semester, let me share a few things that might help with all your student stress. 

Environment 

It’s usually the case that I work more productively outside of the university setting. For example, I have always found studying in a library or classroom quite unstimulating, and prefer to balance it out by taking my university work to my favourite local coffee shop or lounge. It tends to take a lot of the pressure off, and in turn helps me to work more efficiently as I feel relaxed.  

Another key thing is keeping your surroundings tidy and clean. “Tidy room, tidy mind” couldn’t be more true when it comes to students. Don’t get me wrong, it’s easy to let your chores get on top of you as a student, and that is okay! The main thing here is to find the environment that works for you. My coffee shop might be your library or garden.  

Balance 

Allow time for yourself! Making sure you have balance in your weekly schedule, time away from work is extremely important. If you are a university student, explore your new town. Try a new restaurant for dinner, plan a social event with your classmates, or join some of the clubs and events your school or university offers. At BU, there were a number of societies and sports teams on offer for students, and I was able to revisit old hobbies.   

Schedules 

Keeping a schedule can help you stay organised and reduce stress. My daily planner app helps me keep track of my day. By laying out everything clearly and in an organised manner, I avoid missing anything or not knowing what needs to be done. It’s also a good idea to prioritise your tasks to help you get through them. Taking on everything at once may be overwhelming, so make a prioritisation list. Perhaps write this on a whiteboard with different pen colours if you are a visual person. 

There is no doubt that sleep is a challenge for students, but I cannot emphasise how important it is. Try not to set unrealistic expectations for yourself, but simply getting your mind and body ready for the day ahead by going to bed an hour before you normally would, or waking up at a consistent time each morning will definitely help to get you on track.  

Talk to your teachers 

It was in my second year that I got overwhelmed with deadlines and stressed about things that hadn’t even happened yet. In an attempt to ease my mind and reassure myself that I was on track, I contacted my course leader and other teachers. It took a weight off my shoulders right away. As a result, I advised my peers to do the same, and they had the same reaction. It is important to remember that your teachers want the best for you, and if they can assist you with anything, they will. Having a ten-minute chat could be all it takes. They will even be able to put some things in place to make it easier for you if you are finding yourself struggling.  

Exercise  

Getting yourself moving, and keeping active is a great way to relieve some stress. I enjoy daily walks on the beach, but there are a lot of ways to get some exercise in to help boost your productivity and serotonin levels. A lot of students tend to get a gym membership. But if that’s not for you, perhaps walks, runs or even something activity based like bowling or mini golf could work for you. 

Reach out to your peers 

There are many people who feel exactly the same way as you do. Try reaching out to a fellow course mate if you are struggling, as they may be able to empathise or offer assistance. My course mates and I have always had a group chat set up where we can drop any questions or advice.  

And finally, good luck! 

Our Guest Blogger: 

Thank you for this great advice from our new marketing & social media placement student Fiona, who is studying Media Production at Bournemouth University.

Further Support: 

Dorset Mind offers group support that can also help with your wellbeing. The group offers peer support and helps to reduce stigma by normalising conversations about mental health. You can also check out further support for stress and mental health here. You’ll find links for 1-2-1 and groups mental health support we offer here. 

If you are struggling to cope with your mental health in general, please talk to your GP. If you’re in a crisis, treat it as an emergency. Call 999 immediately or The Samaritans, FREE on 116 123.  

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