A heavy workload and time-sensitive deadlines cause students to suffer adverse effects caused by academic stress. Research shows that over 30% of learners experience academic stress, affecting their performance, mental health, and overall well-being.
The stress levels are high for first-year students who have yet to find school-work-life balance and those who learn in a highly competitive environment. But is stress a bad thing? At a manageable level, it’s not a bad thing. However, when it becomes so high that you end up feeling demoralized and unwell, then it’s time to find a way to eradicate it. Here are effective ways of dealing with academic stress regardless of your course or educational level.
Recognize Your Triggers
Too much stress reduces productivity hinders concentration and recall. External and internal expectations are some of the top causes of academic stress. Apart from lowering academic achievement, stress causes negative health effects such as poor sleep patterns, anxiety, and depression in the long term. When students are stressed, they rarely get quality sleep, have mood swings, love to stay alone, and are unmotivated to learn even if they were once passionate about that course.
The effective way to reduce stress and make it manageable starts by finding the root cause so that you can go for the right solution.
For example, if you have too much workload, you can reduce the academic stress of not meeting deadlines by assigning tasks to a professional in an essay writing service. If you’re stressed because of poor grades, you might look for a tutor or join a study group to learn the basic concepts.
Overcome Your Fear of Failure
Students fear failure because of getting low marks in assignments and exams. Even when you prepare well for a test, fear that you failed to succeed will often rear its ugly head and affect your academic performance. The more you worry about miswriting a concept or answering test questions the wrong way, the more you become immobilized, and the academic stress becomes elevated.
Furthermore, when students fail an exam or assignment, they are more likely to have low self-esteem. They’re also more likely to engage in self-sabotage, including procrastination and abandoning academic goals. The solution is to shift your mindset and enjoy success, even from a small task. For instance, make it a habit to reward yourself every time you get a good grade on any assignment.
You can also use people who overcame failure as a source of inspiration. For example, when Warren Buffet failed to get an admission letter from Harvard Business School, he might have been stressed. However, he reevaluated his education and turned the rejection into an opportunity.
So even when you’re dealing with academic challenges, through failure, you will discover your strength and how far you are willing to succeed in that life chapter.
Use Academic Resources
When academic stress becomes elevated and interferes with your learning and performance, it’s time to take action. Schools have numerous academic support and resources that stressed students should utilize.
For example, most schools offer free counseling services where a professional offers strategies students can use to combat academic stress. Relaxation and well-being centers available in the school are also great for distressing, refocusing, reenergizing, and doing things that take the mind off from academic work, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Don’t hesitate to see a professional when things get out of hand; everyone, even successful young scholars, need a listening ear.
Join a Study Group
Apart from keeping a student accountable and making learning fun, a study group made of friends also offers supportive listening and practical solutions for combating academic stress. Talking to like-minded people who have dealt with the same problems puts things into perspective, and they will even offer techniques that worked for them.
Use Simple Time Management Technique
Academic stress is often brought about by poor time management, leading to procrastination and the workload piling up, resulting in burnout. The fast-paced lifestyle and tight schedules can further lead to high academic stress. If you are overwhelmed and stressed, manage your time wisely by planning out your day.
This allows students to take control of their time and set ample time to tackle each task early or study bit by bit, which helps prevent work pile-up and burnout. Since students have different goals, no specific time management technique works. The trick is to use effective strategies that work for you. For example, if you are a visual learner color-coded calendar is ideal. Pomodoro technique, 80/20 rule, time blocking methods, and the Eisenhower matrix are popular time management techniques a student can utilize.