Are you feeling stressed? Stress and anxiety is common amongst students who are trying to juggle everything that comes with choosing to go to university. Stress has a variety of roots however they all have the end result of feeling down, irritated and anxious – hence me not posting on here properly for a while.
Personally, semester 2 has been a big step up from semester 1, especially as a first year. The first semester was mainly about settling in both academically and socially. Living in London, this was a great opportunity to explore my new city in free time and spend some of the money i’d worked to hard over the summer to save up.
However this side of Christmas, it’s really been a case of getting back to reality. Going to university 5 days a week instead of 3, having a lot more work to do and getting a part-time job to support myself financially. Because of my low student loan, when I had to pay my rent after Christmas, my loan didn’t cover by over £400. Luckily, I was expecting this and had the money saved from the previous semester however it left me pretty broke. In comparison, most people I know got a greater loan this semester and had money to spend. I even saw on Facebook that friends from back home booking holidays with their ‘spare’ money! I acknowledged that it is what it is and got a part-time job in a restaurant chain, working on the bar.
Having only had an amazing experience at my old job back home where I learned so much and really grew as a person, I was shocked, (yet now, not suprised) at the lack of passion or friendliness that I witnessed at this job. Working 12 hour shifts at the end of a busy week was made a lot worse by working in a negative environment which left me feeling shit, and after two months, having been under-paid twice, I decided to call it quits.
Despite earning money again, I felt I’d bitten off more than I could chew working in such a stressful environment with people that I frankly, didn’t think much of. This made me feel unhappy and unconfident which affected me at university as well as socially. I felt swamped and overwhelmed in everything I had to do which pushed aside and took priority over things that I actually wanted to do such as working out, cooking, reading, uni work and blogging. Of course, i’ll be needing to get a new job ASAP in order to support myself until the end of first year and to put a deposit down on a place for myself and three others to move into in London for second year – also something that tends to be stressful but that’s another story.
Below i’ve compiled a list of things that I do when things get a little too much, in hope of helping anyone out who may read this, but please bear in mind people handle stress in different ways.
Actually getting your shit together
Before you take on any more information that your brain can’t contain, figure out what exactly is making you feel stressed and make a huge list of everything you’re concerned about. For me, I tend to write a list of everything I need to do from, ‘use Photoshop to make a good, creative CV’ to ‘tidy away massive mountain of clothes on chair.’ But seriously, writing down and prioritising things helps a lot.
I find that when I feel stressed, I tend to look for more things to beat myself up about and this usually ends up being my body and the way I look. Self-love is something I struggle with yet is something I reaaaally want and need to work on. Either way, I always end up in the gym purely to escape my thoughts for an hour with my headphones in knowing that I’m improving my fitness and releasing positive endorphins with every pace on the treadmill.
This one’s really important, I find that in such a busy city living a busy life it’s easy to forget to take a little time to have some personal time. I study journalism and therefore enjoy reading a variety of texts from books to magazines. So my go-to time out activity is to use products on my hair, body and face (Body Shop post coming soon!) and then spend the evening catching up on magazines and reading or watching documentaries. I also like cooking in spare time. Sometimes I just go to bed as early as possible instead lol.
I know in the past when i’ve felt stressed I usually end up keeping it all in my head, letting it all build up however i’ve learnt that talking to people helps a lot – you usually end up finding out you’re not the only one who’s stressed out.
Spending time with those you’re grateful for
I sometimes find it difficult to not be irritated and distant when i’m feeling stressed however it’s so important to make sure you socialise and spend time with people you care about and who care about you. These are the people that keep you going through the shitty moments! I enjoy having things planned to look forward to but also spontaneous coffee dates with friends. I also love FaceTime-ing and phoning my special friends from back home!
Thanks for reading,