April 16, 2024, by UoN School of English

Coping With Your New “Adult” Life: How to Combat Feeling Overwhelmed

You’ve recently become an adult; you’ve arrived at university and living alone for the first time. What do you do? Of course, the initial week it’s exciting, you’re going to be socialising and exploring and not really thinking about much else. You might have started to get the knack of cooking by the end of the first week but then the first clothes wash creeps up and it’s starting to dawn on you what adult life is really like.  

As a survivor of the first term of university, I fully understand how overwhelming and stressful university life can get. You’re expected to think about what to cook every evening, keep on top of washing your clothes, making time for a food shop – and all of this on top of university reading, plus any extracurricular activities. Sometimes it can feel incredibly hard to keep afloat and you can often feel as if you physically have no energy or the hours in the day to do all these activities. I by no means have mastered the art of organisation but I have implemented and acquired a few tips and tricks recently which have helped me relieve some stress from my daily tasks.  

I’m hoping that by sharing some advice I can help some students who are feeling the exact same way right now because, let’s face it, some of you will be feeling as if you aren’t managing everything and that is completely okay.                                                                    

  1. Make your bed every day  
    It sounds like such a stupid thing, but this one small task will honestly make such a difference for your motivation every day
  2. Exercise
    Even if it is just a quick walk to co-op or a stroll around Highfields Park. Taking in your surroundings can de-stress and prevent you from thinking about all the tasks you haven’t done.
  3. Regular routine
    I’m not saying plan out your day rigidly, because sometimes that makes you stress even more without realising, but just implement one or two things that you do every single day. Even just completing one regular task a day and ticking it off can feel rewarding and will further your motivation for the rest of the day  
  4. Don’t take things too seriously
    Sometimes when we try to plan out our daily tasks, we tend to cram too much in one day and then feel disappointed that we haven’t completed everything. Sometimes it’s okay to have days where not much happens, or leaving a task for another day is also okay. Try focusing, even though it can be hard, on what you have achieved today and most importantly be kind to yourself – don’t be so harsh!
  5. Sleep
    Yes, I know CRISIS Wednesday is the highlight of our week but make sure that if one day of the week has a poor sleep schedule, that we try to make up for it throughout the rest of the week. University for me has completely changed my sleep schedule to staying up late most nights but after a while you do suffer, either by getting ill or just not having any energy to do things in the day 

Not all these tips may work for you but hopefully it may help relieve some stress and may lead you to find out what else works for you when it comes to using your time efficiently. I also hope that by trying out some of these methods it helps you to continue to enjoy the university experience and being an “adult” – whatever that is.  

— Kamala Padilha, 1st year BA English  

Image credits: Jess Bailey on Unsplash

Posted in SocialStudent WordsTips/Advice/Guidance