Academic stress management tips for students.
Are you struggling with academic stress and fail to keep up with the pressure? Do you feel overwhelmed by the fear of the possibility of academic failure? It’s evident that students are falling hard on the curriculum-based pressures like academic overload, studying for exams, research proposals, etc.
Furthermore, we have seen a number of students committing suicide or hospitalised due to mental distress or breakdown. This is due to various issues, which internal or external expectations placed before them by their family or the society. Therefore, when reality kicks in and the inability to deliver based on what is expected of them, leads them into a mental breakdown.
What is academic stress?
Academic stress involves mental distress or failure to accept academic-related demands or challenges that overpower the adaptive capabilities of students. Take into consideration that some bodies are not strong enough to handle any form of pressure. Then it becomes difficult for such students with such bodies to balance the fast-paced lifestyle with the academic schedule.
For instance, academic schedules require 80 % of the student’s full attention while there are still other life commitments. Students fail to adjust and balance both academic overloads with other life commitments outside school. As a result, they get overwhelmed and burnout from the overwork and the pressure of keeping up with life.
How to identify an academic stressor?
Identifying the signs of academic stress in a person is difficult and sometimes impossible. As people have different personalities and attitude, some hide emotions while for others it’s easy to pick up changes in their lives. To some students it becomes clear from the change of attitude that something is wrong, however, to some it becomes impossible.
Here are ways you can identify academic stressors;
Do you have constant frustrations or do you happen to always be upset over schoolwork or other academic aspects? If that’s the case, then, that’s a sign of an academic stressor.
Are you constantly in conflicts with either other students or teachers? Then you are showing signs of an academic stressor and need psychological help.
Fear of failure is one thing that leads to academic stress. Once you have fear of failing a course or a module, the possibilities of having a mental breakdown are high.
Six tips on how to deal with academic stress
Statistics show that first-time students at TVET colleges and universities are in higher danger of experiencing a mental breakdown. What causes this could be various reasons including the change of environment and adjusting to the lifestyle.
What can be done to assist students in dealing with the pressure at schools and the academic overload? First and foremost, you need to accept that you have mental distress and if you are showing signs of depression, you need to get diagnosed.
Here are the tips that students can follow to balance school and life commitments;
- Set up some new positive habits for yourself
When you get overwhelmed by the pressure and the academic overload, the best thing to do is to distract yourself with something positive. Hence, it is important to set up positive habits to help bring you back to normal.
- Exercise more regularly
Exercising helps clear your mind from a lot of things including academic stress. Besides, having a clear mind means you are able to think positively about things regarding your studies. You will be able to plan on how to manage your schoolwork.
- Prioritize on what’s important
Understanding what is important regarding planning your schoolwork is vital; however, following the plan can be difficult. Draw up priority metrics based on your schedule and put what is important and urgent at the top of your to-do list.
- Draw up a proper daily academic schedule
It helps to know what is on your schedule on a daily basis. Additionally, it also gives you time to prepare yourself mentally and how you will manage your academics as well as other activities. What will work best for you is to plan your next day prior.
- Understand and familiarize yourself with the environment
You need to get familiar with the environment and understand the nature and the culture of the place. Make friends and associate yourself with positive people who will better your academics. As a result, this will help you relax and focus on what requires your attention.
- Join study groups
This goes to associating yourself with people who have the same values and goals as you. Joining study groups and sharing ideas with others will improve your school work and better your grades. Further, it will help you get used to the environment much better.
Always remember that it seems impossible until it’s done. So, you need to work on how you manage the school pressure and academic overload. Focus on what works best for you as an individual, and appreciate the value other people add to your life.
Seek help from professionals when you feel overwhelmed and burnout from academic overload. Understand that it is normal to feel the pressure from the exams, writing research, assignments, etc. What is important is how you overcome the challenges and the academic pressure.
The fear of failure is normal and it happens to anyone, but how you come back from failure is what is important. You need to plan ahead and always stick to your plan.
Lastly, TVET colleges or universities have student support centres that offer support to students who have issues and don’t know how to balance their work with other life commitments. Therefore, ensure that you speak to school counsellors regarding any issues you might be having as students. You will get professional help free of charge. Contact your student support centre today and get the required help.