21 Aug 2014

Life Update #1

Taking a little break from all the beauty and baking posts this Thursday. As you may or may not know, I'm currently doing my Bachelor's in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Sydney. I graduated in 2012 and went on to do a Bachelor of Science, but decided that I was more suited to chemical engineering, so I transferred at the start of this year. 

The engineering degree is very different to the science one. First of all, your subjects are selected for you in engineering, while in science you are more free to choose what you want to do. Secondly, there are about 120 people in my year doing chemical engineering; these are the people I'm going to be spending the next four years with. Finally, if you're doing engineering you learn that you can't escape math.

I've been finding myself to be a little overwhelmed with assignments and group projects and I thought I'd share my top 3 tips on how I cope with the stress. I hope that these three tips are able to help you in some way or another as they have helped me. Good luck!

#1 Make an assessment calendar 
You will most likely be given one for each of your subjects, but it's always best to put it all on one easily readable and easily accessible location. This definitely helped with the feeling of being overwhelmed. Once I sorted everything out, I felt a bit more in control and stopped panicking. You can do this in different ways, either on a calendar or in a Microsoft Word document table (like I did). Below is an example of my assessment calendar for this semester to give you an idea of what it could look like

#2 Have a to-do list 
In between assessments I have tutorial sheets to complete or textbook readings to go through. It helps to have what you're supposed to do on a piece of paper where you can tick it off once you've completed the task. I use my to-do list from Kikki K for the little tasks I have each week. Again, this helps with feeling in control and feeling a bit grounded. It's far too easy to get caught up with uni work and soon you'll end up feeling like you're living deadline to deadline, which is not far from how I felt a couple of weeks ago. 

#3 Take a break
I don't just mean 'take a break once in a while'. Of course you should take breaks when doing uni work, but what I mean is take a break when you feel like you're losing control or when you feel like your brain is freezing up and you just can't think anymore. If you force yourself to continue in that state, you won't be productive and you will end up stressing out even more. I'm guilty of forcing myself to continue and thinking suck it up, everyone has to go through this. The thing is, yes, everyone has to go through stress and hell weeks, but don't overwork yourself. Sometimes, I stop in the middle of what I'm doing and shut my laptop off and hop into bed, and I'm done for the night because if I don't do that I end up being frustrated with myself and that leads to throwing a little tantrum or having a bit of a cry (which I do often when I get frustrated). I cannot stress enough how important breaks are; they refresh your mind, cheer you up a bit, and they even help you concentrate when you decide you're ready to get back to the task at hand. 

Do you have any tips on dealing with stress from (uni) work? 

Stay tuned for next Tuesday's post… it's gonna be a big one!

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