Confessions of a University Student: Stress, Sleep and my Recipe for Success
Healthy U is a student group of trained volunteers dedicated to educating fellow students on important health-related matters. This article was prepared by a Healthy U student volunteer.
Upon getting my course schedule this July for this school year, I was greeted with the very familiar feelings of stress. I am in the fourth year of my studies and still, I can’t escape the yearly jitters that come with starting a new school year. This year I made the decision to try and tackle the stresses that come with school head on by coming up with a “Recipe for Success” for myself. Here is what I came up with.
#1. The one thing I have found to be helpful to regulate my stress is to meditate. For me, I have found meditation to be extremely helpful at calming my nerves when I get stressed. I can do it anywhere and in almost any situation. Right before work in your car? Meditate. Right before you start an exam and write a big paper? Meditate! When your Dad asks you why his iPhone storage is full for the tenth time in a week? Maybe this example is specific to me, but mediate nonetheless! The way I meditate is quite basic. I get into a quiet area (if I can), close my eyes, focus on my breath and try to exist in the present. All other thoughts are pushed to the side. Finally, when I feel ready I return to reality. Check out this video for more insight on meditation.
#2. There is nothing I value in my life right now more than sleep, and I mean that in the most selfish way possible. One thing I learned while working at my summer job was how much better I was functioning at my job when I had a good night’s rest. On days when I would sleep late, I would make mistakes, or I wouldn’t learn efficiently. When I was sleeping more, I made less mistakes and I felt much more confident. Moral of the story? Put the phone down! According to this article, it keeps your mind psychologically engaged! I am definitely guilty of seeing something on Instagram or on Twitter that keeps my mind active for a long time. I had to be honest with myself “I will not die if I don’t read all the Love Island updates this instant”
Helpful tip: try putting a time limit on the apps that tend to eat away your sleep time.
#3. Personally, I find that the combination of managing my stress with meditation, sleeping right, and of course, studying will help me to feel prepared and successful in my classes. Now my recipe for success isn’t universal, but I hope my technique brought a bit of clarity to your school year.
This is a version of a piece that was previously published on the Healthy U website.