The end is in sight

Editorial by MADELEINE DOWLING

The semester is nearing to a close. The light at the end of a 13-week tunnel is starting to peak through. We are at the pointy end.

But unfortunately, it’s not time to kick back with a margarita yet – maybe it is, whatever helps you study, right?

We all share a harmless giggle on the surface about how stressed we are, how we have yet another assignment due, being hounded by sometimes an ultimately clueless boss at work, and how sadistically broke we are: typical student problems.

Brush it off, they say.

Inside the pressure has turned into a disorderly whirlpool that feels like it’s about to swallow you whole.

But fret not.

Sure, we can take solace in the fact that our study buddies are in the same boat that seems to be being battered with holes. Or we can actively take our wellbeing into our oh-so capable hands and power through the rest of the semester like an Energizer Bunny.

No matter which, we are struggling.

In fact, a student survey from the National Union of Students revealed an alarming two thirds of students faced high or very high psychological distress over a year. The biggest mental health issues impacting study were feeling stressed, lack of energy or motivation, feeling anxious, and low mood.

It seems that ‘boat’ is more like a cruise ship, with all aboard.

While I’m no Freud, I am a third-year University student who deals with anxiety daily, especially at this point in the semester. So, friends and stress-heads, I give you my top five tips to combat those niggling feelings, with inspiration from Beyond Blue:

  1. Take a break. Go outside, go for an ice cream, walk your dog, listen to music, meditate.
  2. Yes, it’s a cliché that exercise solves all of life’s problems. But once those happy hormones hit, not only is it addictive but a great way to clear the old noodle when the going gets tough.
  3. Eat well. Sure, no one here is making the youngest millionaire’s list any time soon, but put down the two-minute noodles and invest in fresh produce. Eating nutritious and wholesome meals doesn’t have to be expensive, fruit and veg are delicious, filling, and give you the vitamins needed to push through the study-stress.
  4. Text a friend and go for a coffee, go to a new bar, go on an adventure to somewhere new. Bouncing off the positive energy of someone else is a great way boost your own.
  5. Call your family. Many university students live far away from their families (I know I do), and sometimes homesickness can hit like a tonne of bricks and send your already high stress levels through the roof. Calling or facetiming can be just the thing you need to stay on track and soothe the stress.

Just keep pushing on: it’s almost margarita time.

 

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