6 Stress-Busting Tips for University Students

Student with hands on head while looking at papers

Whether it’s your first semester or your senior year, university life can be stressful. Being away from family members and juggling challenging classes with other responsibilities may feel overwhelming at times. You need to study, make new friends, maintain old friendships, meet family obligations, and do your own chores.

Stress can’t be avoided entirely, but when the load becomes too much to handle, it can lead to anxiety and depression. Here are some of the things you can do to alleviate the stress of student life.

Create your own study nook.

Set up a quiet space in your Wilfrid Laurier residence where you can focus on your studies. There should be enough natural light for you to read and write. Keep the space tidy and neat, remove distractions such as your phone, and have some healthy snacks nearby.

Make sure everyone understands that you are not to be disturbed. If you get easily distracted by roommates, you can find your own nook in a library or coffee shop to get things done.

Get enough sleep.

Do you stay up late at night? If so, try to avoid scheduling your classes in the morning so you can catch up on your sleep. Take advantage of power naps to pull you through the rest of the day. And if you’re having a hard time getting the required hours of sleep, try cutting down your caffeine intake.

Don’t turn to a negative habit.

When students are stressed, they may be tempted to turn to other things as coping mechanisms. For instance, they may turn to alcohol, recreational drugs, and food to deal with stress. Overindulgences will only complicate matters, so try to practice moderation with eating and drinking. Consider the healthy stress-busting habits you could develop, such as journaling, taking walks, or yoga.

Eat well.

An unhealthy diet can increase your stress levels. Don’t depend on sugar and carb-laden food for an energy boost, as these will make you feel sleepy and will ultimately lead to a crash.

Stock up on fresh produce whenever possible. Waterloo has lots of farmers markets where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables so you can cook your own food.

Pursue your passion. 

Your days may be filled with lectures and study sessions, but don’t forget to squeeze in a couple of hours each day for an activity you enjoy doing.

Going to a dance studio, working out at the gym, or volunteering your time to a worthy cause are all great ways to relieve stress. You’ll come back feeling refreshed and energized to do the next task on your to-do list.

Build a strong support system.

Surround yourself with classmates, roommates, and friends who will listen without judgment and provide you with sound advice. Stay connected to your family at home. A quick chat with mom and dad will surely brighten up your day.

If the stress gets to be too much, you might consider consulting with your academic advisor to pursue an easier roadmap in your curriculum. You can also get in touch with your university’s counseling services for further assistance.

Student taking notes

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