7 Tips To Starting University and Managing Stress

Students » The Distillation Blog » 7 Tips To Starting University and Managing Stress


Transition can be one of the most exhilarating periods of your life—or one of the most terrifying. Experiencing anxiety is normal during these times, but combined with projects and assignments, it can be hard to cope. There are numerous UBC resources and ways to help you manage stress.


1. Understand yourself

Be conscious of how you’re feeling throughout the day. Try keeping track of your moods for a week. Identify what kinds of situations cause the most distress, and notice how your body reacts (shortness of breath, nausea, sweating). Log the changes in your mood on paper or with an app.

2. Practice Practice Practice

Worried about exam-taking? Test out your exam tech in advance to make sure you know your way around them. Worried about a presentation? Ask a friend or group of friends if you can do a virtual presentation run-through with them over Zoom.


3. Supercharge your learning

You can power up your learning and studying strategies by getting support from others. The AMS offers free group tutoring in several subjects, while Science Peer Academic Coaches can work with you to create a custom study plan and provide you with time-management and note-taking strategies.

4. Care for yourself

While you’re tackling projects and assignments, remember to take a moment and take care of yourself!



5. Set more realistic expectations

University is a lot different from high school, so it doesn’t make much sense to carry over the same expectations you had in high school to UBC. Consider your own expectations: both those you’ve thought of, and those that might be guiding your action. Make sure they’re realistic and fit with your current needs in order to avoid burn out.

6. Confront issues

It can be easy to avoid dealing with something that’s bugging you, but it’s not likely to go away on its own. Addressing it may feel uncomfortable or require you to learn new information/skills, but you’ll be better prepared for next time. Stay proactive. Once one problem is taken care of, it makes it easier to tackle the next one.

7. Help is waiting

Sometimes it's possible to manage challenges on your own, while other times it's normal to need help and advice. It's important and courageous to reach out for help when you need it.


If you or someone you know is in crisis, find resources for immediate support.



Adapted from Opinion: Coping with change: Managing the stress of starting university, Vancouver Sun