It’s the most stressful time of the year

With papers to write and studying to worry about, university students are hitting the books one last time until the fall.

By Amanda Hunt

With papers to write and studying to worry about, university students are hitting the books one last time until the fall.

This time of year is bittersweet – freedom is just at their fingertips but there is a lot to be done before it can be fully grasped. There are a multitude of things students are stressing about at the end of the term.

Second year Dalhousie student Jodie Robia says she finds this time of year stressful because there’s just too much to do.

“I often feel like everything is assigned all at once and it can be terribly overwhelming. I don’t get stressed over exams, I get stressed over term papers and assignments,” she says. “I always feel like they are all due at the exact same time.”

Chizz Mbamalu, who is a second year student at Dalhousie, says despite the stress, she is trying to keep on top of things.

“Instead of feeling apathetic and procrastinating, I’ve been working and getting my work done as soon as possible so I’m not stressed at my deadlines.”

She says this leaves her more time to study for exams without needing to worry about looming deadlines.

Every student has his or her own way of coping. Dalhousie provides some useful tips for students via emails and its website. The university also keeps its library open later to accommodate late-night studiers.

But it’s never a ‘one-size fits all’ solution.  Robia says she does many different things to cope with stress.

“When I’m feeling stressed, I often eat a lot of food and read things that have nothing to do with school. This year I ended up reading three years of a blog in four days. It was an amazing, well-written blog,” she laughs.  “Honestly, it just helps me calm down and forget about all the stress.”

Mbamalu puts her mental health at the forefront.  She finds school extremely stressful at times.  The solution?  Take a step back, she says.

“Mental health, to me, is super important, and if I feel really stressed – which is often, due to me having anxiety – I will stop, try to remember that I can do this work later and relax for a bit.”

To cope and relax, Mbamalu does things she enjoys to take her mind off all the work.

“I talk to my friends, go on Tumblr, Facebook, watch YouTube videos, take naps and even miss a class or two,” she says.

Staying organized is key to a less-stressful end of semester. Some people are better at it than others.

“I’ve conducted a list of all my assignments, ongoing assignments, their progress, my study schedule and fixed dates for exams,” Mbamalu says.

There are a multitude of resources available to stressed out students this time of year. They can talk to academic advisors, go online for study tips and attend workshops on anything from mental health to how to write an essay.

In the end, Robia sees it as everyone being in the same boat.

“Whether it’s working out, stress eating, sitting on Tumblr for hours, or even starting a whole new television series, everyone is just trying to cope with and hide their stress. I think, for everyone, this exam period really snuck up on all of us.”