It’s easy for me to say that I am glad I’ve closed the first chapter of my uni life having graduated two weeks ago (there I go, blowing my own horn). But I’ll tell you why: I could have graduated with a PhD in stress.
In my first year or two, I emerged from my room, aka the cave, only for food, coffee and baths. I remember spending most of my student days and nights staring into the screen, nervously scribbling down notes. I remember burning the midnight oil until 4am across a few consecutive nights closing in on due dates. I stayed home many weekends. Study slowly killed my spirit and I yearned for real life.
By the third year of uni, I felt like I had a better handle on stress (though my boyfriend may not always agree, poor chap). At least I stressed less and I emerged from the cave more often. Then I decided to write a 15,000 word thesis. Oops.
I’m making myself out to be a giant nerd but that’s okay because a) I am and b) the main lesson that I learnt from uni was to GET A DAMN HOLD OF MYSELF! (You’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever studied).
I will tell you a few pieces of knowledge that helped me to manage stress and to chill and a lot of it has to do with living intentionally and letting go.
Here are my commands tips:
LIVE YOUR LIFE
Well actually, in many ways, it is. But here are some more tips with that in mind:
- Study can wait, but life will pass by quickly. Take risks and follow opportunities, experience new people (people who could help you land a job once you’ve graduated) and keep close to the ones you love, see new places, test your boundaries and learn more by doing. You’ll never have any good yarns to tell or stories to write if you don’t live a little.
- It doesn’t pay to be stressed. Pressure may be good sometimes and study is fantastic for the mind, but don’t let it get to the point when you shut out friends, family, events, i.e. your life.
- Don’t chuck your health out for the dogs; it’s one of the keys to effective study and a clear mind, and not to mention it’s great for your future. Eat well, sleep well, play well, work well, exercise well, and be well. Exercise opens your mind and the effects on your study are unbelievable.
- You MUST shut off from work of any kind at some point in each day. Treat uni like a job (except without getting the pay): start at 9, finish at 5 and work overtime only when completely necessary. Learn how you work and learn best and spend time effectively. You’ll burn yourself out otherwise.
- Perfectionist? Guess what? The universe is imperfect!
I learnt a lot about myself during university and I wouldn’t change that experience. All of the stress has taught me about the importance of balance in my life. It’s really important to discover how you piece the puzzle of life together, for sure, but make it work for you and don’t be afraid to do it differently to the people around you.
The last thought I will leave you with is this: keep it simple.
Question: How do you keep on top of stress and what has university taught you about life?
Take it easy,