Lambeth College - MHAM: 7 tips for students
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The mounting pressure of students having to choose their futures whilst trying to learn and manage social aspects and lifestyle changes that coexist with college  can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you cope with pressure and expectations:

  1. Try not to compare yourself to others
    Students need to remember that the culture of academia is performance-driven, so it can feel like everyone is continuously achieving. However, you shouldn’t compare yourself to other students a no two circumstances are the same; there are many reasons as to why your grades might differ.
  2. Set aside time to relax
    There are blurred lines between work and play at college since it all becomes part of the student lifestyle – you don’t just clock out of your set hours. Therefore, it’s vital that you do this for yourself and set aside time to relax to avoid burning out.
  3. Make short-term goals
    When you find yourself becoming overwhelmed with your course demands, consider why you feel this way – why are you associating your worth with academic success and do you need to be so harsh on yourself? Write these things down and set short-term goals for yourself so it doesn’t feel like you are continually working towards just graduation day.
  4. Remember that you have a right to be here
    For students from minority groups, there may be even more pressure to prove yourself. For mature students, students with disabilities or student parents, you may feel the need to justify your choice to study and show that you can achieve alongside peers that may not face the same challenges. If you are feeling this pressure, reach out to someone you trust to talk about it and remember that you are just as worth as anyone else. You can also speak with your LDCs
  5. Celebrate the small wins
    You are at college to learn not merely to prove your ability. Take every little win and celebrate it. Congratulate yourself for getting assignments in on time, for knowing you worked hard on a project, for being a good team player in a group project. 
  6. Reach out for support
    Reach out to your tutors, to your LDCs or heads of department if you are struggling. Speak now before you become overwhelmed – there is no shame in asking for help, that is the support services’ primary function. They wouldn’t exist without student need for them, so you aren’t alone in feeling like this.
  7. Be kind to yourself
    The most important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself. Achievement is the fantastic, it should be celebrated, but the definition of an achievement doesn’t have harsh parameters. It shouldn’t just be about getting the highest possible grades or doing the most extra-curricular activities.

(From the Mental Health Foundation website)

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