From frazzled to focused: How I learned to process study stress

Written by Adelle Rutch | 2 November, 2015

Nutritional Medicine student Adelle Rutch shares her top study tips to beat assessment stress.

It’s that time of year (again)…boy does it creep around quickly! Exams, assignments and that delicate balance of work, life and study. For many of us it can become overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. Embrace it and enjoy the journey that is tertiary education!

I would like to think I am old hat with this whole exam prep, assignment smashin’ process being that I am ALMOST in my final year of Nutritional Medicine…buuuut I still have my moments of panic. I’ve learnt it is what you do with that energy and in times of vulnerability that count.

I am lovingly giving you some of my caffeine-free study enhancers, time management tips and self-care strategies for when we need it the most. Use as many or as little as you need, or even use them as inspiration to create your own study rituals for when you feel under pressure, a little frazzled or begin to use the words “I can’t”…because you definitely can!

1. Never underestimate the power of a diary – organisation really is key! Don’t just jot down due dates, give yourself a heads up and complete a two week and one week countdown for when an assessment piece is due or when an exam will be held.

2. Prepare nourishing meals ahead of time with a focus on including ingredients that are low GI, high protein and rich in omegas. While we are on the food topic, snacks are important as well! Make up some bliss balls and have them in the fridge or portion some nuts and seeds so they are ready to nibble on so you don’t reach for the sugary goodies.

3. Visualisation can be truly inspiring. Remember why you chose to be here! Imagine the feeling of accomplishment you will experience when you press submit for that assignment, pass that subject or hold that graduation paper in your hand.

4. Take time out for you. You may think sitting at your desk for four hours straight is productive, but it certainly isn’t…and we should know better as it certainly isn’t healthy. Whether you sip a cup of herbal tea, go for a walk in the sunshine or even stand with your toes on some grass for 10 minutes, just do what you have to do to disconnect and breathe.

5. Get a family member or friend to proof any essays you have to submit. Let’s face it, after days upon days of re-reading and writing about the same topic it’s easy to make small errors.

6. Buddy up! I find studying with friends helps me see concepts in a different light. The way someone might explain an idea or set something out on a page could really benefit you, and what you have to bring to the table might benefit them. Bouncing ideas off each other in those pre-exam weeks could help solidify what you have learned in the classroom.

To every student – no matter where you study – good luck in these coming weeks, for the rest of your degree and your future career. Remember we are all in this together and the learning will never stop – it's part of the journey.

Adelle Rutch

Adelle is a nutritional medicine student who shares her tips on clean, green, eco-friendly living. She is also the author of the Green Living Guide eBook.

Read more by Adelle Rutch

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