Managing A-Level StressPosted: 14th of April 2015 by
Studying for your A Levels can be a stressful time, whether you are studying, preparing for exams, or completing coursework on time. Stress is a part of everyday life, but if you don’t manage it properly it can build up and even lead to other problems, like depression. Therefore it is important to understand how to deal with your stress response when under pressure, and how to deal with any problems constructively, rather than letting them build up and take control.
One of the main causes of stress for students is finding that you have too much to do and not enough time to do it in. This can be easily remedied by making sure you are organised. Get a diary or year planner and record all of your study commitments and any deadlines that you might have. Make sure to check your planner regularly and keep it updated so that you can organise your time and know what needs to be done, and when.
Planning your time is not just about organising your study schedule. You should also make sure you plan in other activities too – you need to balance your studies with leisure time. Make sure to plan blocks of time when you can get down to your studies, as well as finding time for other stress-busting activities, like exercise.
By giving yourself plenty of time to complete any assignments you lessen the chances of ending up stressed and short of time should something go wrong, or if you find that you need more time than you originally thought.
Planning is one thing, but making a start on your studies is another way to lessen your stress. Start small with something more manageable to build up your confidence and get the ball rolling on your studies. Perhaps getting a book out of the library, or making an essay plan will help you to get things underway. Even if you write out a few preliminary ideas and thoughts on a piece of paper you will have created a starting point from which to build. Getting started, even if in just a small way, can help lower your stress levels and allow you to create a plan to keep going with your work.
Of course not A Level stress is related to getting your work started, but if you feel yourself feeling pressured ask whether the cause is something that you have any control over. You might like to try writing down the problem and then trying to come up with different solutions. Write them down, even if they sound silly, you can always eliminate them later.
Once you have created a list of possible solutions, decide which ones are not likely to work, or those that you don’t really want to go through with. Once you have a handful of solutions left put them in order of which ones are preferable. You can then use these to create a plan of action to tackle whatever is stressing you out. If you find that your first plan didn’t work you can always try another one. It is far better to be proactive than to sit back and let yourself be overwhelmed with stress.
There are, however, some situations that you may not be able to easily solve. There may be situations outside of your control, such as those to do with other people. It is about recognising what you can control and acting on it, while trying not to let yourself become overwhelmed by the things you cannot manage.
Of course, if you have problems you should also seek out someone to talk to – perhaps your tutor can help you to manage your workload? It might also be that you are getting yourself worked up needlessly, so make sure you don't let things get on top. By being organised, understanding what you can and can’t control, and seeking help where you can get it, you should be able to keep your stress at a reasonable level.
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