Managing Stress

At UEA we get 4 weeks off for Easter. While that should be pretty nice, it’s always a weird time of year because you know when you get back to uni, you probably have lots of deadlines to meet and then you’re straight into exam season. It goes without saying this can be a pretty stressful time of year, so here’s a few tips to try and manage stress levels…

  1. Know how you work best.

If you don’t work efficiently, everything is 100 times more stressful, so it’s good to know how you work best. Some people work well with background noise, whereas others need silence and no distractions. Sometimes I find if I work from home I’ll get easily distracted by wanting to talk to my housemates or getting a snack, but if I’m in the library I have no choice but to work solidly. It’s all about personal preference, so have a think about what works for you and then do it – no one’s a fan of a day spent in the library working, but if I know I’ll get a lot done then it’s definitely worth it!

library 2

2. Plan your working hours

Planning is key. Personally, to get stuff done, I need to plan what I’m going to work on and for how long and then stick to it. I used to think things like revision timetables were such a waste of time, but when I actually tried organising my time more carefully I realised how helpful it is and I’d really recommend it. If you’re really busy, it helps to make the most of the limited time you have, and if you have loads of time on your hands it gives your day more structure and direction. Win win.

3. Revise with friends

How you revise depends quite a lot on what subject you’re doing, but if you can it’s always good to revise with others sometimes. For the majority of your revision, I would say you need to work independently, but working in groups can be a nice way to make revision a bit more manageable. Also, teaching others is a great way to learn things yourself.

revise

4. Know your deadlines

Make sure you know the deadlines for all your coursework and know when your exams are. This will help you to plan when work needs to get done and makes sure you don’t get any nasty shocks if you’ve got the deadline wrong in your mind. Writing them out can be a good way to make sure you’ve got all the dates right, and then as you complete them you can cross them out which is always therapeutic.

5. Your life shouldn’t be 100% work

No matter how behind you feel with work, or how stressed you’re getting about exams, don’t let it completely take over your life. Make sure you are making time to relax and see your friends otherwise you’ll just feel miserable! Sometimes if you’re feeling really overwhelmed with work the best thing to do is to have a day off to clear your head, even if it feels like you can’t afford to be taking time off.

6. Ask for help

Don’t be scared to ask for some help! Feedback from seminar leaders can be especially helpful for essays. Take your essay plan or ideas to your tutor and ask for their opinion, they know a lot more than you do and they will often have some really helpful feedback. If you’re genuinely struggling with stress, please tell someone. Deadlines and exams are important, but they shouldn’t be taking over your life with stress and anxiety. Talk to your advisor or make use of the Student Support Service if you’re struggling. The Student Support Service also offers help with study skills and academic work – find out more here.

 

Easter round up

Woah, life has been super busy recently, so I thought it was worth doing a post briefly talking about some of the stuff I’ve been up to in the last few weeks…

Back in March I managed to fit in two friends from home coming to visit. It was really lovely to see them, and was a great excuse to wander around all the best bits of Norwich, and eat a lot of cake and drink a lot of tea in various tea shops. It’s not always easy to find time to see friends from home so it was great to spend time with both of them!

I became Vice-President of the Christian Union in February, and a lot of my time since then has been taken up by meetings and planning, but it’s really exciting to be involved with helping to run a student society. At the end of March we did our Easter outreach, handing out free hot cross buns and Easter eggs in the hive. This was so fun to be involved in, and hopefully you liked it if you were around campus on the last day of term!

I didn’t go home straight away for Easter, but I did pop home to surprise my Mum for Mother’s Day. I’m lucky to only live about an hour away from Norwich on the train, so I could visit for a day and then head back. Despite living quite close, this term I haven’t had time to make it home to visit at all, so it was great to finally go home, especially for Mother’s Day.

I then spent about a week back in Norwich, trying to get some work done before heading home for Easter. This meant a lot of library time, but it also meant breaks by the lake or Earlham Park with my housemate Tara, which was really nice, and the weather was beautiful.

tara

Isn’t she cute

That week we also returned to visit Blickling Hall, a National Trust stately home in Norfolk. Our friend Becky volunteers there and we got to spend a day with her, enjoying the beautiful gardens and exploring the house with Becky as our own private tour guide! Blickling Hall has to be one of my favourite places and I loved getting to visit again. We also fitted in a brief trip to Cromer to see the sea before heading home.

When I finally left Norwich, I brought my friend Sarah home with me to stay for a few days. Sarah is a study abroad student over for the year from Canada , and although my hometown isn’t quite as exciting as Canada, it was so much fun to have her to stay. We visited Southwold for the day and won our fortune on the penny machines (when I say fortune, I mean several keyrings and a weird toy mole). Southwold is my favourite seaside town, but it’s quite difficult to reach by public transport from Norwich, so being able to drive there (shoutout to my parents) was a great opportunity to go. We also went to Sutton Hoo, a local National Trust site where an Anglo-Saxon ship burial had been discovered. To be completely honest, as a historical site it’s pretty underwhelming (basically a field with some mounds) but the weather made it a nice place to spend the day and it’s always a strong site for a picnic.

The Easter holidays themselves have gone super quickly (possibly because I’m not actually at home for that long!). I’ve managed to fit in catching up with friends, and seeing some family who visited for Easter, which has been lovely. Summer term looks like it will be just as busy as last term, and we’re now on the countdown to exams which I’m managing to ignore fairly successfully so far. But for now I’m back in Norwich for just under a week before term begins next Monday…hopefully trying to fit in some work – wish me luck.