When Exams Aren't the Only Thing Stressing You Out

The Spring term is over and what a long 11 weeks it's been. Drawing on the end of another year at the University of Nottingham, with the highs and lows reaching a climactic point. How are you feeling? Utterly shattered I can imagine, and quite frankly struggling to comprehend how you are going to muster the energy to finish essays and revise for exams when you can barely roll out of bed in the morning. It is not unusual to be overwhelmed by deadlines at this point in the year, and typically, that is not the only problem you are trying to juggle. The list of other “things” that tend to accumulate alongside the stress of assessments is endless, and shan’t be forgotten either because it can cause just as much (if not more) stress.

Perhaps friendships are causing you some extra grief at the moment. The experience of living with the same people day-in-day-out (who aren’t your family) should not be underestimated. Of course, your housemates are your housemates – and I am grateful to say mine still are the ‘-mates’ part.

But if after a series of drama, spats about the cleaning, noise complaints and just generally coming to the conclusion that you and X will never see eye-to-eye, the tension of such an environment can become quite toxic – and therefore exhausting to live in. Now how do you manage this without throwing in your tea towel and moving back home permanently? There are many ways of approaching this. 

Allow yourself the time to breathe: enjoy your personal space, distract yourself from the dramas (for now), and - if you're still at home - catch up on some much needed rest so you can A) make the most of being there, and B) return to university with a fresh outlook on the situation – instead of returning in full-on “fight me” mode. Also, it is worth questioning whether X is worth tinting your time at university – and assess whether the joining of ‘house’ with ‘mate’ again seems more realistic after some space, and if so, it might be worth handing out an olive branch. 

Another potential stress you may be facing at the end of term is more quantitative: money. This may seem even less unresolvable than a friendship fall-out, as you fall deeper and deeper into your overdraft – which can begin to feel like the only thing (temporarily) holding you up at the moment. 

If you have a part-time job you've been able to return to over Easter then that’ll certainly make a difference to your financial situation, and even if this is not the case then summer is calling… and summer calls for free time, and unfortunately, when “adulting”, free time calls for earning money (which helps in the long run). Whatever your situation, whether you are ready for this or not, Student Finance England will make a comeback (**NB if you have remembered to register again!).

If the other stressful “things” seem just as large as they did when you first started reading this article, then it might actually be worth talking to someone about them. A lot of the time, I find comfort in the cringey saying that a problem shared is a problem halved – or, if even this feels like too much interaction, write everything down on some paper – isolate the main problems – bullet point some solutions – revisit the ‘main problems’ list to test whether they are genuine problems, as opposed to you creating a problem in your head… and go from there. A final tip, a long hot bubble bath (and a face mask) always helps too.