Dealing with Study-Related Stress

Posted on: 27 April 2022 by Harper Clayson in 2022 posts

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Although stress is objective, levels of stress and methods of dealing with it is extremely subjective. That being said, below is some advice on managing stress leading up to essays and exams, though this is certainly not the complete list, nor will every tip be useful to you.

Proactive steps to begin stress-free revision

Find an enjoyable and effective method of study

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Starting revision is much easier if you enjoy the way in which you are learning. That being said, some compromises might have to be made in order to find the most effective type of study you. What I personally find helpful is studying in a group; this can be silent study or a discussion, but being around other students, especially those also doing your subject, can be really encouraging.

Identify the areas you need to revise most

In both essays and exams there will always be sections or topics you need to work on the most. This is where having a method of revision you enjoy comes in handy for it makes revisiting these areas a little more pleasant.

Give yourself time

It is easy to feel stressed if you have given yourself too much of a workload. This is where organisation and planning is going to become your best friend: use a diary to plan your week, if not allowing certain times to study, then at least having a checklist of what you need to do each day. It is also useful to have a semester calendar in your room with important dates such as essay deadlines or upcoming exams as it helps you prepare your revision with enough time to not over-stress yourself.

Tips to deal with stress when revising

Give yourself a break

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You may feel stressed with your workload but spending all day trapped in library won’t reduce that. Organise some time to yourself; whether that be going to the cinema, going out with mates or reading a book, find whatever gives you a rest to recuperate.


Movement makes the brain grow, it’s a scientific fact (I would really recommend reading some studies on this!). It doesn’t have to be exhausting, it can be a walk, yoga, swimming, whatever you enjoy.


When feeling overwhelmed, sometimes the best thing to do is to just get it off your chest. You can talk to a friend or counsellor, though if you prefer, a journal also works great. Alongside a journal, I find it useful to read philosophies (after all, I am a Late Antique history student!) to set a purpose for the day. This won’t work for everyone but if you enjoy reading, give it a try!

Support services

Never be afraid to talk to the university, I have many times emailed my academic advisor and it is always really helpful to talk through any stress with a professor that understands well how it feels to be in your position. The university offers a range of options to help deal with stress that can be explored here.