Tomorrow at 12pm marks my first deadline submission date and if that doesn’t scare the living shit out of you, then you’re not a student. In September I started my second year at BCU (Birmingham City University) and although I’m fully enjoying my new social life and friends during this year, the deadlines are much harsher than the first year, and no one is laughing anymore. As dull as it might sound second year is full of dreaded lectures, exams and a whole lot of coursework. Everyone fails to mention that deadlines will creep up on you like no other. It feels like 2 seconds ago I was moving into my accommodation for this year. Now people are talking about breaking up for Christmas. Before I even think about Christmas I’ve got 3 more pieces of writing I’ve got to do without having a complete mental breakdown.
The reality is that deadlines and Uni are hard. They can get on top of you, but if you take small steps to deal with things then it won’t seem as bad. I can’t sit here and make all your work go away (and let’s be honest, sitting and watching YouTube videos won’t stop those deadlines either) but keeping on top of everything is so important. It is so difficult to make sure you’re doing all you can when you want to hold down a job, have a social life, do well at Uni and also have a relax. (I’ll admit, relaxing is at the bottom of my priorities – unfortunately!) Life isn’t always too great though and you will stress, try to stay calm and things will start working out.
Need some help with dealing with those deadlines? I’ll admit I’m not the Gok Wan of education and stress, but I’ve got a few tips I use myself that might help you out.
Don’t leave things until the last minute
You’ve probably been told this over and over again, but it surely will not be any good for your mental health to be stressing about your deadlines when it’s 10pm the night before and you have no idea where to start. Get ahead of your game and plan. Even if you don’t do the whole thing in one go it’s a start and you’ll find yourself not as anxious as you would be if you weren’t prepared at all. It’s actually a proven fact that some researchers have found in some sort of study (I’m a great psychology student, honest!) that doing work the night before decreases your grade by a lot which is shit if you’re not sure you’ll do good in the first place. Be proactive and stay on top of your workload.
Eat and Sleep as much as you can
Don’t take this literally, I don’t mean eat the whole fridge then go out and buy more food. Eating and sleeping is an essential part of your body functioning properly. If you don’t have enough of either then you’re not going to deal with your deadlines very well. Unfortunately, the best snacks to have whilst studying are fruit and nuts which isn’t the most appetising. I’d much rather have a chomp and some Pepsi, but you’ve got to be healthy and keep your body happy. Sometimes that’s the only way to do it.
Also, in exam season or around your deadline dates, make sure you have a least 6 or 7 hours sleep. You might want to stay up and watch the whole season of Stranger Things 2. Thinking sensibly and going to sleep an hour or two earlier than normal might mean you will do better in the end.
Take a break (or 3!)
You definitely should not punish yourself for doing work, or the lack of it. Take a break every so often and do something you enjoy. Your essay or report is never going to be that 1st class grade you need it to be if you haven’t stopped writing for 5 hours. Having a social life is also so important. Maybe suggest going for a few drinks or some food with your course mates in your free periods? Just take your mind off the stresses of those seminars and lectures. Try not to talk about assessments whilst your there though as it might stress you out even more!
This one is the last because it’s so important! Set yourself goals throughout your day or week and every time you achieve one, treat yourself. Even if it’s something small like having a takeaway, buying a big bar of Galaxy or shopping your heart out for some makeup. Treating yourself will allow you to feel motivated to do more. This will evidently mean you’re less stressed with deadlines and work.
Hopefully taking some of those points away will help you in your journey. Even if you’re not at Uni, everyone has to deal with stress and taking little steps will always help you out.