We’ve chatted about stress, depression and similar emotional problems while under the varsity whip. While these can be difficult to manage and may require a long-term focus, anxiety is something we can get on top of fairly quickly, with a good degree of success.
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, concern or nervousness.
Dealing with anxiety means recognising it for what it is and putting stops in place to prevent it getting out of hand.
Dealing with Anxiety and Varsity Pressures
Annie Walton Doyle
Feeling overly worried or stressed out during university is exceptionally common. The uncertainty, the worries about constant deadlines and the pressure to maintain a good work/life balance can be a lot to contend with, but there are ways to help minimize your university anxiety. Here’s how.
Stop holding yourself to a higher standard
Being overly self-critical is one of the biggest facets of university anxiety. Try to treat yourself as you’d like your friends to treat you. Don’t focus on your mistakes or failures and encourage yourself not to give up.
Find a hobby
If your whole university experience is focused on yourself and your grades, then the likelihood of poor mental health and anxiety issues is much higher. Having a release for your stress, or a time when you aren’t thinking about your degree, is hugely important. Maybe try to find a new society or sports club you can join, something that will allow you to engage with others over a mutual interest.
Volunteering or student mentoring is also a good idea, as directing some of your mental energy outside of your own problems is a wonderful stress and anxiety reliever. Bonus? It’ll look great on your CV in the future.
Talk to people about how you’re feeling
One of the biggest mistakes university students make when it comes to mental health is keeping their anxieties bottled up. The unique thing about uni is that you’re surrounded by people who are going through the same experiences. Talking about your problems will help you feel less isolated and alone.
If you’re really struggling, try to book a meeting with a tutor to work out some coping mechanisms. Your tutors are trained to help students cope with the high-pressure environment of finishing a degree and will be able to give you tried and true advice.
Look after your physical health
It’s too easy at university to just let everything slide and stop taking care of yourself. If you’re allowing yourself to get run down and neglecting your body, it’s highly unlikely you’ll feel your best mentally. Getting enough sleep is hugely important, and exercise is also a brilliant stress beater. You don’t need to even pick something hugely energetic, as yoga and meditation can be really useful.
Eating healthily and staying hydrated will also undoubtedly make you feel better. This type of self-care can have huge positive impacts on anxiety and stress.
Don’t be afraid to seek help
If you feel like you’re trying everything, but your anxiety is still affecting your day to day life, it may be worth considering talking to your doctor. There’s no shame or stigma to be associated with mental health issues and there is always something which can be done to help manage your anxiety and get it under control.