While learning new knowledge and skills at university helps to keep your brain active, we know that university can also be a stressful time. We all have mental health and this will fluctuate day to day. USC provides a range of information and services to help maintain positive mental health and wellbeing and support students living with mental health challenges.
Stress is a normal part of life and university life in particular. A little bit of stress can keep your brain focused and your body healthy, but too much stress can affect your mental and physical health. Here are a few healthy habits you can add to your plan to cope with life while at USC, with all the expected and unexpected life events:
- Exercise regularly
- Engage in enjoyable activities
- Have adequate sleep
- Eat a healthy diet, drink water and limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine
- Include relaxation and meditation exercises in your daily routine
- Learn to say ‘no’ rather than overloading your commitments
More advice, resources and support to help manage stress is available here.
Juggling life at USC with all the other demands on your time can be a challenge. Planning early, staying connected and communicating with friends, family, your teaching staff and your employer can help you succeed at USC.
- Plan for challenging and busy study weeks - when do you have assessments and exams and when do you need to study hard? Consider working more before the busy periods to make up for the reduced income during these times.
- Communicate with your boss at work - be clear about when you might need time off for busy periods.
- Make plans for rest - consider taking time off work during uni-breaks - where you get to recharge, catch up on sleep or study.
- Say no to extra work or commitments - unless you really need it. It can seem easy to do an extra shift here and there, however it can quickly add up to falling behind in your studies.
- The essential ingredient for balancing work and study will rarely be about time, but more about how you take care of your body and mind and staying healthy throughout the semester
Your time at university is an opportunity to connect with, learn with and learn from people from all walks of life and form new relationships. The more you engage with uni life, the more you can get out of the experience.
If you are unsure how to start a conversation with another student, keep it simple: talk about this week’s lecture, chat while walking from one class to the next; or invite them for a coffee.
From time to time, there may be conflict between you and your friends, or other students. You can try to resolve conflict by:
- Staying calm.
- Communicating and being willing to compromise.
- Respecting that everyone has different values, beliefs and expectations.
- Listening to the other person’s point of view.
- Accepting an apology, or apologising if you are wrong.
Sleep contributes to your academic success and overall health and wellbeing. However, getting enough hours each night can be challenging, with study, work, and social life all competing for your time. Here are some tips to promote better sleep:
- Create a bedtime routine. If you have trouble falling asleep, creating a routine helps your mind and body get into sleep mode. After a few weeks of practice this should help you fall asleep as needed.
- Stick to a schedule. Keeping a similar bed time each night can greatly improve your chances of getting a good night's sleep. This may vary, depending on your class and work hours, but try to create and stick to a schedule as best you can.
- Don't work in bed. Keeping your work and sleep spaces separate from your sleep space to keep insomnia at bay.
- Keep your room dark and quiet. While college campuses are hardly either, try to keep your room as dark, quiet and cool as possible. This will help trigger to your body that it's time for bed and help you get and stay asleep.
- Take a nap. If you have the time during the day, a short nap can do wonders for your energy levels. Just make sure not to nap too close to bedtime or for too long, and a nap will do your body good.
- Avoid caffeine, eating and drinking right before bed. All of these activities can throw off your body's internal clock, so try to limit meals, alcohol and caffeine consumption to a few hours before bed.
- Avoid all-nighters. While you may feel like you need to study all night to do well you might be doing yourself a disservice. Not getting enough sleep can impair your ability to do well, regardless of how much you've studied, so make sure you get at least a little sleep before your big test.
- Understand that lack of sleep can have a big impact. Lack of sleep doesn't just make you cranky, it can also reduce your ability to concentrate and to excel at class, so try to get as much sleep as you need.
- Get a full night's rest whenever possible. While the amount of sleep each person needs varies, most people need 7-9 hours to feel fully rested. While this may not be possible every night, try to sleep a full night whenever you get the chance.
USC recognises the diverse cultural and religious groups represented within the University and its wider community and supports campus-based expressions of spirituality.
A Reflection Room is available for student and staff use at USC SouthBank on Level 2, Building A4 (SW1 complex), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane.
For the location of prayer and contemplation facilities at other USC campuses and learning hubs visit AskUSC.