The fun of Freshers is now over for everyone and the reality of deadlines hits you. How do you cope with that? A part of university life is trying to figure out a way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle: getting enough sleep, eating correctly, fighting off freshers’ flu, whilst still trying to maintain the aspect of socialising with your friends, attending all of your lectures and keeping on top of your additional reading.
The most important thing to remember is that you’re not the only person going through this struggle. Every single student, no matter how well composed they may seem, is struggling one way or another to stay on top at university. That’s the challenge of it. You may feel alone and isolated in your deadline stress, cramming in as many of the limited hours you have free at the library to try and finish the essay or the lab report- but you aren’t. We are all going through it. There are many services across the university, such as the Wellbeing centre or the Advice and Support Centre, which are there to offer you support if you feel like the stress of university is becoming too much for you. Admitting and acknowledging the struggle you’re going through doesn’t mean you’re failing.
The first step to coping with it all, is effectively taking a step back. It is incredibly hard to find time for yourself at university, but in order to stay sane and healthy you must try to find the time for yourself. Even if that time consists of ten minutes each day in between your schedule, sitting down to have a cup of coffee, escaping to the gym or to the beach or giving your best friend, or whoever you’re closest to, a call. This will help you have a breather. Getting caught up in your own stress of deadlines can make it feel as if you can’t escape the constant feeling of panic and stress. The more time you take for yourself, the more your perspective on your own situation will start to change, and the more you will realise that you’re the priority in your university life.
All-nighters are appealing, and they happen to even the most organised of people sometimes. You start October with one or two pieces of work, then you end up with three deadlines in the space of a week and not enough time to figure it all out. It’s important to remember though, that our bodies need sleep for us to function. We are supposed to get eight hours of sleep per night. It seems impossible, I know. Trying to get yourself into a sleeping routine based around your weekly timetable is an effective way of ensuring you stay on top of the stress as it will allow you to work as effectively as you can during the day. Try and sleep a little earlier each night and set your alarm half an hour earlier each day so eventually you do become that morning person.
Taking care of yourself will help you cope with university. If there was a step by step guide to teach us all how to get through it, it wouldn’t be as fun and as much of an experience as it is currently. Finding your feet, figuring out who you are and getting to grips with university life is one of the most difficult things you will ever have to go through. It’s okay though- it’s worth it and you need to remember how far you’ve come to get here already. You will make it, just keep pushing through and don’t give up. Even make it to your 9ams. It will all be worth it.
If you do feel like you are struggling and would like to receive support, Welfare@Campuslife can provide you with practical advice and support on whatever welfare issues you may be facing. If you wish to seek support you must firstly contact your college welfare rep, whose contact details can be found on the @CampusLife page on the Swansea University website.
by Georgia Williams