Solving Your Study Stresses

Student life is often harder than we expect. Nothing can prepare you for the amount of work you’ll have to get through, especially in the lead up to exams. Of course, just how much work you face depends on how much you do throughout the year. The unfortunate majority of us think we have plenty of time, only to find exams coming up. So, for the most part, things get busy. It may seem counterintuitive, but during that last minute rush, it’s important to give yourself time off. Small breaks will actually help improve your attention. Burning yourself out will stop you absorbing information, and won’t help anyone. Here are a few ways you can take a break when you feel the need.


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Chances are, you’re already a gamer, else you wouldn’t be here. But, have you considered using games to help you escape the study strain? Many of us pack our consoles away during exam season. But, if you have enough restraint not to spend hours on them, they can be a huge help. Nothing is quite so good for taking your mind off work than getting into a good game. Plus, you can use your sessions as a reward system. Allow yourself an hour of gaming if you manage to study for two hours straight. It works wonders! Of course, an hour can quickly turn into more. Make sure to set the alarm and stop playing the moment it goes off. You don’t want to lose all your study hours! You could even get to grips with gaming on the go and take it with you if you study elsewhere. This is a fantastic way to achieve short-term escapism.


Chances are you’ll be sick of the sight of books right now. So, why are we telling you to read more? Because it’s fantastic for escapism. And because you can still enjoy personal reading, even after all those hours of staring at a page. It’s a good way to keep your brain engaged, while still kicking back a little. Break your academic reading up with five-minute personal sessions, and see how much of a different it makes. Your eyes will still be focused on the page, so returning to your studies won’t be a huge leap. But, you’ll still get some much-needed rest.


Chances are, your friends also lock themselves away when exams are coming. But, it’s important you still take the time to see each other. None of the above will help you as much as time with friends can. If you don’t get out to see anyone, you’ll start going crazy. Plus, when you’re home, studying will always be in the back of your mind. You don’t have to go out for hours, here. Who has time for that? Instead, arrange to go out for a drink, or a meal with friends. They’ll understand if you have to leave early. They’ll probably need to do the same.

How Do You Know When You're Doing Too Much?

I'm sitting alone in my room, relaxing after a busy week, looking forward to a slow Friday before the weekend of duty that awaits me. I've been pulled in a lot of different ways finishing out this spring semester as a graduate student. After speaking with some colleagues and thinking about what I wanted to post tonight, I had the thought; how do you know what you're doing is too much?

I'm a big proponent of productivity, positivity, and life/work balance (as I'm sure many people are) but I feel as though I don't know if there is a single moment or feeling that lets someone know they need to scale back. Remarking to my colleagues and fellow graduate students about my various involvements, I had an epiphany that I felt like I am dipping my feet in a lot of different ways and being so busy can be a detriment even though I'm getting a lot of great experiences. If I can't put myself fully into each experience, is it really worth it? Is it more beneficial to do more things with less focus or less things with more focus? I know my reasoning for doing this comes from the anxiety of the imminent job search process. I want to be the most competitive candidate I can be going into the gauntlet of interviews next year. Since I am working as a hall director after being a resident assistant for two years, my drive to get outside that box has lead me to all sorts of great experiences in student affairs, volunteering my time to see how the other half lives outside of the residence life bubble. I can only hope it will all pay off in the end.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this or anyone's anecdotes about the constant struggle for balance.