- Sophie Rees
“Your student years are the best years of your life”
Throughout university, we will come across numerous tutors, lecturers and older students that all say the above phrase to us. Although studies can get really tough when it comes to exams, assignments and making choices for the future, it is important to revisit the well-known fact that our peers highlight to us, to help us see our situations more clearly and be proud of what we have achieved to get this far.
As a current second year undergraduate at university, I know that the pressures of work and deadlines can bring people down and create a low mood amongst students. This is a very common feeling at university around examination time in January. Going back to lectures soon after can be a pressured experience. After everyone has been in exams and handling assignments for a full two weeks; new modules, tasks, cold weather and planning for next year’s study can be unwelcome. Where possible it is important that we turn these hurdles into positive steps that make us the great and intelligent students we are. With this in mind, here are some pieces of advice, my Ripple Tips, that I use for and I hope will be of help to anyone feeling down at this point of the academic year.
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• Remember to have regular breaks from revision and assignment work as too many solid hours of concentration at once can create a low mood and affect the standard of your work.
• Get plenty of fresh air and don’t stay cooped up in your room revising all day. Even though work is important, your body and your mind will need a new atmosphere to escape from a focused setting.
• Eat well. It can be tough to keep up on a good balanced diet this time of the year but warm meals in cold weather, vitamins from fruit and vegetables and drinking plenty of water, are fantastic habits to have whilst studying. A good diet improves concentration and happiness levels.
• Forget everything you just sat or handed in, exam time is over. Forgetting about all the work you have just completed for the semester gives you a chance to not only relax but to focus on yourself and reflect on what you have learnt from the semester. Think about what made you proud, what you have improved on and how well you’ve seen yourself through this.
• When prepping for next semester, make it interesting and fun. This can be done by making a new timetable and adding lots of colour to it and reading about the modules you will be studying and about what you’ll be learning about. As an English Literature student, I am currently reading some of the books I have to read for next semester and it turns out that they’re pretty good so far.
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• After looking upon the semester positively, it is time to start a new one in the same manner. Think about what you may have to do differently this semester to improve, what you may keep the same, and what works well for you as you enter new studies.
p.s. I find a cup of tea is a great mood lifter when the world seems to be weighted on my shoulders ∎
At Student Minds we want to give students a simple way to share the positive things they do for their mental health and how they tackle feelings of depression and low mood. A Ripple Tip is a short, quick recommendation of something which works for a student to support their own mental health, which can be used by other students.
Have you experienced depression or low mood? Share your advice through Ripple Tips
We are also looking for blog posts about your experiences of low mood and depression, what it is like to experience it and what advice you may give to others.
Click the link for other ways to get involved with the Ripple campaign