Stress Factor 101 – Simple ways to reduce it
By David Bailey
Coping with Confusion in you learning
A huge cause of stress is not understanding key terms or phrases in your course learning. Keep an ear and eye out for unfamiliar words and new terminology. Make a note of these words and terminology when you hear them. You may also come across one in a text and wonder what exactly it means. It would be best to look it up in a dictionary there and then. It may seem obvious but often this easy fix is omitted. There are plenty of simple online dictionaries which can help. Making sure you understand the words in a text will enhance clarity during the learning process. This is an easy to do home remedy. In a lecture don’t be afraid to put up your hand and ask. Ask questions, ask for clarifications, don’t be shy or scared. If the lecturer can’t help you right away, they can often talk to you later. Lecturers want to help, it’s in their interests for you to get the most out of your course. Also, ask the student mentors for help, every course has them. Their job is to make things easier and clearer for you, so make sure to take advantage of that!
How to deal with Deadlines
Deadlines are often difficult to cope with, particularly in undergraduate courses. We all know that meeting deadlines is a must. But how much time do we allow to do so? The less time you leave yourself to finish and submit, the more stress you are going to have. It’s a simple cause and effect. Try to be disciplined and try to get your work finished in good time and submitted earlier than the deadline if you can. Then you can have fun. Too often it’s the other way around and then comes the stress of not doing the best job, not getting the best mark, coming under pressure from your lecturer and so on. All of these things and this stress can be avoided by managing your time wisely.
How many times has your printer flaked on you when you needed it most? Operate on the principle that technology will always fail you just when you need it most. Adopting this principle will help you plan better when using technology. Waiting until half an hour before hand-in to print your assignment is a bad idea. The printer will jam, or it will malfunction, and your stress levels will go through the roof. If you are doing something which involves complex editing, be prepared for it not to work and for you to have to spend more time than you thought on it. Be ready for any kind of electronic transfer, even to and from a memory stick, to fail. Chances are your laptop will shut down on you too. This comes back to being timely, getting it done early, making sure you leave plenty of time for failures. You know that student everyone hates because they are always smugly on time, handed in early, finished and done and dusted? Well, aim to be that student and you too will have a less stressful time.
Balancing Work and Play
University life is not just about work, it’s about having fun, meeting people, partying. It’s about spreading your wings and broadening your horizons. It should be those things and more. But never forget the reason you came was to also get a degree. Get the most out of your course by making sure you clear up the stuff you don’t understand, you meet your deadlines in a timely manner, and never trust technology to work when you need it. Those three things will dramatically take your stress levels down and bring your success levels up.