How to cope with the stress of student life

 

How to cope with the stress of student life

christine-millerDear Christine,

My daughter has revised hard and is expected to achieve excellent A-level grades. But over the past few weeks she has become increasingly worried and anxious about going away to university and what may be expected of her. This is a time when she should be looking forward to her future but instead she is locking herself in her room and becoming very depressed. What can I do?

I’m assuming this depression is an isolated condition for your daughter, not an ongoing problem. As a young adult, about to begin life away from home, your daughter will have natural anxieties about leaving and becoming independent.

You say she “should” be looking forward to her future; however, this is a time of great change and uncertainty, and her anxiety is probably based on her holding unrealistic expectations of herself, coupled with high expectations she feels others have of her. Acknowledging and encouraging her to explore these feelings often allows them to evaporate.

Humour, patience and open communications are vital. Since she is focusing on the possible downside of going to university, help her begin anticipating positively, perhaps planning trips to buy new clothes/equipment, and gently reminding her that, initially, universities expect freshers to be nervous and uncertain.

This is a major life transition, and even outwardly confident students will have underlying concerns including:

“Will anyone like me?”

 “Will I be able to cope with the work/finances/social life?”

Essentially, everyone is in the same boat, and once your daughter realises she is not alone in her fears, they will rapidly diminish. Reassure her that you will still be there for support, if wanted, and that emails, texts and phone calls will keep her in touch with friends and family.

Talking to students already settled at university, together with some online research would also help. Listed below are resources.

http://www.thesite.org/workandstudy/studying/studentlife/studentstress

http://www.mind.org.uk/help/diagnoses_and_conditions/stress_of_student_life

http://www.studentdepression.org/stress_anxiety_and_anger.php

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/Coping-with-exam-stress.aspx

© Christine Miller M.A. Author, Mentor Coach & Counsellor

About Christine Miller

Christine is a psychologist, executive coach, mentor, speaker, published author and poet. With a varied and successful 25-year career in research and consulting across diverse sectors, she now conducts leadership and organisational transformations. As a guide and mentor she seeks to release untapped potential in her clients.

She has recently completed extensive research into creating sustainable cultures for more values-driven, loving, compassionate organisations, with over sixty global leaders, ranging from HH the Dalai Lama to Sir Terry Leahy and The Rt Hon Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business. Christine is a Fellow of London Metropolitan University Business School’s Centre for Progressive Leadership.

Christine is able to adapt to different environments and issues quickly, where she is known for her ethical approach, her empathy, her stimulating and thought-provoking method of questioning, and for her ability to put people at ease. She is renowned for her creative resourcefulness and wisdom, her penetrating analysis, insights and ability to provoke transformational thinking and action for organisations and individual coaching and consulting clients worldwide.

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