Think back to the last time you enjoyed a solid, full night’s sleep, and woke up feeling revitalized.
Was it this week? If so, chances are you’re not a student.
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“There are a million different stressors that everyone goes through, but I think what happens is when all these exams and assignments are coming at once, students realize their organizing and planning skills aren’t up to par,” says Bobbi Beuree, student success supervisor at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.
Students often experience an increase in anxiety during the end-of-semester crush, a time when the stresses of juggling multiple deadlines leaves many feeling overwhelmed.
Beuree believes a simple change in strategy can make a marked difference toward overall study effectiveness.
“I’m a big proponent of balance, just making sure that even though they’re students, that they’re taking care of themselves as people first,” she says.
“I talk to them about nutrition and caffeine, exercise and making sure when they’re creating their schedule they’re making time to spend with family and friends as well as time to study and prepare for exams.” For many, consulting with a student advisor can offset the fear of falling short academically.
“Students are spending a lot of money to be here, and when things start to go off the tracks, it could result in academic probation, and at the worst, they could get kicked out of the university.”
Instead of succumbing to these fears, Beuree suggests taking a deep breath and investing time in organizing a realistic study schedule.
Barbara Williams, Counselling Director at Alberta’s University of Lethbridge, offers the following tips to stressed out students:
- Time management: Establish boundaries and a realistic schedule
- Exercise: Go for a walk or a fitness class. It will give you a true break and also get your endorphins moving.
- Nutrition: Eating properly is especially important during stressful periods. Avoid too much sugar, salt and caffeine and make sure your meals are balanced.
- Take breaks: Make room in your schedule for a nice cup of tea, and social interaction with friends and family.
- Reward yourself: Make sure you give yourself kudos for tasks accomplished, rather than focusing on everything you still have to do.
- Don’t forget to breathe: Four cleansing breaths before sitting down to study can make a world of difference.