How to manage your postgraduate stress

Postgraduate stress, otherwise known as the scourge of spring, manifests when inkwells and printer cartridges have run low, when tensions are high and essays nigh due…By Eric Baron.

Some students might try and charge through, pass on a night’s worth of sleep and build a barricade in the library, or drop an extra espresso shot in the filter coffee. But don’t let that be you!

Stay focused and sane as you write up and start thinking about what you’ll do with that hard-earned degree.

Be a Time Lord

Just because you’re not actually from Gallifrey doesn’t mean you can’t manage time. Have a daily plan and keep track of it, either on your smartphone or in a special organizer, more commonly known as the notebook.

Calendar and timers might not be as advanced as the TARDIS, but they will help you remember deadlines, manage busy schedules, and time-box your activities. Putting a time limit on assignments is a neat trick to motivate yourself and see if you can accurately estimate how much time you need per task.

Don’t just theorize about your thesis

Hopefully you’ve already planned this out. And if you haven’t, there’s always next year! But by firmly laying out your thesis, you help guide the rest of your essay. You avoid the strain of unnecessary rewriting and potentially pulling out most of you hair (and having to wait until next spring for it to grow back).

However, even before the thesis, do some preliminary research and brainstorming. This might include journal articles found online, books in the Warwick library, or dissertations written by previous students. You’ll respect Guttenberg all over again and wonder why the Internet is so smart.

Think about what matters

Why did you come to University of Warwick in the first place? All of us have a different work-life balance, demands on our time inside and outside our studies. It’s important to stop occasionally and think about what’s important. It might change or it may stay the same. But just thinking about itcan help you feel relaxed, focused and on track.

And if all else fails, remember that you’ll be rich…

in resources while here at Warwick! Take advantage of library staff, postgraduate resources and other tips on managing your dissertation.

Now that I’ve provided the first few tips for relieving stress, give me yours! Tell us how you relax and stay focused when the deadline’s getting close.

Image: Tardis/AntToeKnee Lacey/CC-BY 2.0

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