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How to cope with anxiety whilst at university

Coping with anxiety whilst you're a student can feel overwhelming.

Don't feel as if you need to constantly have social interaction. It's ok to take a day for yourself, regenerate and calm your yourself before you jump back into the swing of things.

At the end of the day, your mental health is far more important than downing a few drinks on the society social night. Here are a few ways to help you feel less nervous, give them a try and see how you feel. Not everything will work, you got to figure out which one works best for you.

Learn to say ‘no’ and be ok about it

The first thing you want to do when you start university is to make friends, it can often feel as if the only way to do that is to go out and drink with the people you have just met. But what if you don’t want to go out partying? Saying no to an invite, instead of forcing yourself into a situation you know you won’t enjoy, it will make you feel better and less anxious.

Relax

Suffering from anxiety means that you use more energy doing things that other people would do quite easily. It simply means you need to have time to relax and regenerate before the next day. Remember it's ok to need space—whether you do meditation to relax or listen to heavy metal—doing what you love helps to calm the nerves.

Sometimes you may feel as though you can't keep up, and if you're worried about missing deadlines, ask for help. Your personal tutor is always more than willing to give you advice or point you in the direction of someone who can. Never feel ashamed to seek help, in my experience, it's best to do it before things get too crazy.

Schedule

Having a set schedule means you don't have to worry about not knowing what to do next. Personally, I use a wall calendar and my Google calendar to keep track of my classes, activities, meetings and even when I plan to go back home. Having things to look forward to, is another great thing about planning, you know what you need to do and can use the event as motivation to keep going.

Talk to your family

Don’t ever feel ashamed of wanting to call home. If you need home comforts, do it; everyone gets homesick while they are away from home for the first time. I know I did, I called my family twice a week in the first two months, I couldn't travel home that often as I would need to fly there. However, if you live quite close why not go home for the weekend, it's completely normal to need the relaxation that home provides.

Stay up-to-date

I fall into the lazy category when it comes to staying up to date most of the time. After I've finished my lecture, I would go to the library and work on my assessments but would forget to rewrite my notes properly. Sometimes it'll make me anxious, because I know I have to learn it for exams. So this year, I've decided to take the time to write up my messy notes from the lecture, into my exam revision book. This way I can ensure, I keep updated on my work, whilst doing everything else that university life throws at me. Once I have my revision notes in a simple form, I find I understand the topic more and I’m able to write about it in exam-type language.

Your anxiety will never leave but now you have ways to cope with it. Which in turn will help you cope with university life that much better.

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