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Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed?


September 9, 2014

young man pulling funny face on white background

Trying to find balance as a student can feel impossible. There are so many demands academically and personally that we often feel that we can’t keep up. Between class, homework and work, who has time for anything else?

Well, chances are if you schedule 20-30 minutes a few times a week to talk with a friend, get yourself organized or engage in some positive talk, it could do a world of good. Even if you don’t think you can fit it in, doing so could mean that you start to feel less stressed.

Set boundaries

It’s OK to say “No”. Take inventory of the commitments you have going on. Is there anything you can take a break from while you’re a student? Can you negotiate household responsibilities with other family members when you’re particularly busy? How about letting your friends know that there will be times coming up that you will be less available?

Setting boundaries can be difficult for some people, but it’s perfectly OK to do. It will help take some of the pressure off your shoulders so you can focus on doing your best in school.

Talk to someone

Don’t let feelings of fear, anxiety or depression keep you silent – reach out and talk to someone. Phone a friend, talk to a classmate, meet with a counsellor — whatever you need to do to get things off your chest. Whether its to vent frustration, identify solutions, get perspective and feel connected, talking can be a means to all of these things.

Get organized

In whatever way works for you, get organized. It will take some time right off the hop, but it’s well worth it. With all your different classes and projects, your life is only going to get busier and more complicated as the semester goes on. Having some sort of system will help you feel more in control.

Practice positive self-talk

Are you having helpful conversations in your head or unhelpful ones? Negative thinking will likely increase your stress and anxiety. Try your best to change your negative thoughts into positive ones. For example:

Negative thoughts

  • “I can’t do this, I’m going to fail.”
  • “I’m never going to get everything done.”
  • “What’s wrong with me, everyone else seems to get it.”

Positive thought

  •  “All I can do is try my best.”
  •  “Just one thing at a time.”
  • “It feels like I’m the only one struggling,
 but I’m sure I’m not alone.”

Ask for help

If school is the source of your stress, you may want to connect with Tutoring Services. A few sessions with a tutor working on challenging course material might help you get to where you need to be.

If personal issues are starting to interfere with your day-to-day functioning, you may want to connect with Counselling and Accessibility Services. You can meet with a counsellor for a one-time appointment or on-going support.

Do you have any tips for minimizing stress during school? Share them below!