Thousands of students are fearing how the pandemic will affect their studies, and here is what you can do to ease the stress.
Let’s be honest here: the COVID-19 outbreak really screwed with a lot of students, especially those hoping to start college or university in the fall. I am one of those students; I was hoping to fix up a few of my grades during exam season, but all my exams have been cancelled due to the virus. This has caused my stress levels to SKYROCKET over these past few months. Although the schooling systems differ greatly between countries, I’m sure all students can agree that they are worrying over their grades because of the events of 2020.
As a student in the UK, I was meant to sit my A-Levels (final exams) over the course of May and June. A few of my grades needed bumped up and polished off, and the exam season was the perfect chance for me to do so. However, my school shut down halfway through March, and the government announced that our grades would be based on previously completed work and exams. This has caused me to panic quite a lot, and I’m not the only one – all my friends are equally worried about their grades. However, I have worked together with my friends to put together a small list that aims to help all of us in these tough times and ease the worries of uncertainty that come with entering university. I hope this will be just as useful to you as it was to me.
1. Avoid excessively checking your emails.
I must admit I am guilty of doing this. I once checked my school inbox twenty times in a span of two hours! However, this is a very unhealthy habit. Not only does it cause you to worry more, but you subconsciously brace yourself for receiving bad news – which means that every email you get, you fear will contain a rejection letter or disappointing information. Instead of obsessing over your inbox, you should try to find ways to distract yourself from the need for more information. Even something as simple as making some tea and sticking on your favorite show (The Mandalorian, anyone?) will help you relax.
2. Remove sources of school-related anxiety from your environment.
That pile of work you still have sitting unfinished on your desk? Get rid of it. Same goes for uni information packs or old textbooks. If you cannot throw something away, just put it into a safe storage space until you can complete or return it. At this point in the year it’s very unlikely you will even have to do any work, so having a constant reminder of your stress is only adding to your list of worries. Clearing your desk of school materials is also clearing your mind of it; nobody wants to be constantly reminded of that one English assignment they swore to the teacher that they would turn in the next day.
3. Spend time doing your favorite hobbies.
Playing video games (especially JJBA: Eyes of Heaven) is probably one of my preferred things to do, and it really does ease my mind. It helps your brain recognize that instead of needlessly worrying, you should do something that you actually like doing instead. As well as this, it is important to cultivate your hobbies as they make who you are as a person, so no matter how seemingly insignificant your hobby is, just get on with it!
4. Read up on something you’re passionate about.
While this, in my mind, relates to marine biology, you can educate yourself on just about anything you’re interested in – from your future university course to real-world issues happening currently. This is actually a trick I use to appease my need for learning; despite not having any schoolwork to do, I still satisfy myself by learning about something I’d like to do in the future. This can also help make you more confident about your future studies, as you can enter university knowing that you have already gathered a significant amount of information about whatever it is you will be studying.
5. Stay well-fed and hydrated!
I know what you’re thinking – another guide just recycling the old ‘eat well stay well mantra’, but it is actually important. The thing is, I won’t tell you to stuff yourself with so much healthy food that you feel like you’re going to burst. What I will tell you is to eat and drink what makes you feel good! With the constant stress on your mind, you can find yourself not having much of an appetite and just eating whatever you find around the house, even if it’s foods you don’t actually enjoy. You will feel SO much better if instead of doing that, you buy a pint of ice cream or order a pizza and some coke. Trust me. You deserve it.
I really hope you find these tricks useful and uplifting. I wish all the students here the best of luck in their studies, and remember: no matter what happens, take time to relax and declutter your mind from the current events, because stressing about something you are not in control of is very counterproductive. And if you’re searching for a new show to watch, I really do suggest The Mandalorian. The bucket-head himself will have you very invested in the story, trust me.