Keep your sanity in the second half of semester
The second half of semester is in full swing, and while you may feel like you’re on top of everything at the moment, it’s easy to completely lose yourself in the mess that is assignments, parties and sleep - or lack thereof. Here are some things you can do to minimise your stress during the second half of semester.
I know, it sounds like I’m stating the obvious, but knowing what’s due and when will help you manage your time. Whether you mark everything on your calendar or in your diary, or if you scribble everything down at the front of one of your books, is up to you. Knowing when your assignments are due, what your work schedule looks like and who's throwing the semester's biggest parties will help take some of the pressure off.
Know your study habits
Know what works for you and stop comparing yourself to other people. Some people read ahead three weeks and take pages and pages of notes. Others prefer to skip lectures and catch up every few weeks. So long as you’re getting through the work you need to do, it doesn’t matter how you do it.
It’s really important to not compare yourself to others in your class. Everyone works to their own speed and learns in their unique way. Trust me when I say, just because they look like they’re on top of everything to you, it doesn’t mean they’re not freaking out as well.
Talk to someone
Your lecturers and tutors are there to help you. This is really important, and the sooner you talk to them about anything on your mind, the better. If you're struggling, they can help. If you have questions, ask them straight up instead of pondering for a few weeks and falling behind. Even checking in with them at the end of each class to make sure you’re not missing anything is a great way to keep on top of things.
Talking to your friends and other people in your course can also help. Chances are, you’re not the only one struggling, and having a chat with your classmates can help you work through anything you’re stuck on. It also helps to know that others are in the same boat.
Exercise is your friend
Channel your stress into something physical, whether you’d prefer to take up a sport or relax in a yoga class. We all know students like to drink away their sorrows, but putting your stress into something more productive will make you feel better in the long run. It can help lower your stress levels and keep you fit. Your university will have sports groups you can join, there’s probably a gym hiding on campus somewhere, or you can even venture off campus and find the right place for you.
Take some me-time
It can be really easy to get stuck thinking about uni all the time, but it’s really important to find some time where you put uni out of your mind – especially if you have a very intense timetable. Whether it's grabbing a coffee with friends or catching a movie, do something totally unrelated for a few hours a week. Having some me-time can help you avoid feeling run-down all the time.
If you really do feel the stress getting to you, reach out and talk to a professional. Your university will have counsellors who can help you deal with any stress and anxiety the semester is causing you. You can also check in with your GP who can offer a referral to a psychologist.
Peta Short is currently completing a Master of Communication at RMIT University.