Exercise to Cope with Stress

Students have a lot to juggle. At no other time in life is a person expected to complete full days of study, as well as up to 30 hours of work every week, and maintain household and familial/social relationships. It is an extraordinary expectation! Some students thrive on the pace and pressure while others struggle, turn to counsellors or professional services for help and sadly others just pack it in and quit; only 54% of university entrants in the U.S. come out with a graduate degree.

That is a sad statistic especially considering the efforts required to gain university/college entry and then manage day to day student life. There are things students can do to alleviate pressure. How this is achieved is dependant on the individual student and how he or she experiences stress. Some common and resolvable problems are time management, fatigue, work overload and anxiety.

Time management is critical to student success. Keeping a scheduler/diary is an excellent way to organize commitments and free up some mental capacity for other things. Although it might be hard to do, schedule class and revision time first and then calculate how much is realistically left for work or pleasure. There are usually financial alternatives for students in the way of loans or scholarships which may be worthwhile if the burden of work and study is too great.

Fatigue is a common student complaint and it isn’t surprising. Although it may seem like a contradiction, scheduling some physical exercise three or four times a week will go a long way to alleviating fatigue – exercise revitalizes the body and the brain! Work overload is probably the trickiest problem to tackle. Some courses and professors simply demand a huge workload in terms of study, exams, essays and research. Although this is the most difficult problem some options again include time management, studying with friends who can work through problems with you and seeking help with the written work. Needless to say, for the somewhat small percentage of students that make it through, getting a degree is worth the battle!

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