Home | Newsletters

36th issue by NSYSU on October 2013

School work is a mandatory for any scholar in NPUST, hence, every day and every night we ought to be pressurized to work hard or to try to finish assignments, seminars and many other related school activities. How does one cope with such pressure? Each and every individual differs in their own tactics to handle pressure from school work.

I for myself handle it as well in a different manner; I believe that we come from different backgrounds, religious beliefs and many other differing cultures that we were raised in. Even we share the common grounds of specializing in similar field of studies but our concepts of it are quiet variable. Hence, we experience different levels of school work pressure.  I feel that I have a fair theoretical knowledge of my field of study, but in terms of practice such as lab activity I sometimes feel pressurized to understand more of the technical activities in the lab since my history of lab work was very limited and I will be also responsible to undertake my own experiments for final Thesis as per part of the study requirement. To overcome this pressure I sign up for any lab activities every week, this I believe had helped to reduced pressure from lab work.

The school year can be hard on anyone. No doubt, school is tough. It can build up on self-esteem issues, your family, friends and even yourself. For some it’s the worry of being able to get enough credits to graduate, others with experiments for their final thesis, while for others it’s being able to keep the highest grades and continue to further education. No matter what our goals are, we all struggle with a tremendous amount of stress and pressure.

At University there is a range of academic pressure we feel, derived from a need for perfection, worry over grades, parental pressure, seminar presentations, lab work, the fear of losing a scholarship, competition, or a tough class load.

Techniques I use to Manage Pressure

There are many healthy ways to deal with academic pressure. If you don’t feel motivated about a subject, arrange a study group. Reward yourself after completing every section. Other ideas include:

Keep a routine. Keeping a schedule can help students tackle one hurdle at a time, and as a result, feel more in control. Write down everything you need to do in order not to miss things out. But it’s important to set your own goals and take on your own responsibility.

I already tell to myself that this way not going to be easy. Going back to school after 2 years jump in professional work will throwback to my memories in bachelor degree. I remember sleepless night to read articles and make a report. I am exactly realizing the pressure for going back to school again. But, this is life. I think, I need to sharpen my saw and go out from my comfort zone. I choose the path and I will responsible for that choice.

My mother tells me that like a glass of water, if you put sugar in it. The sugar will dissolve. But, at certain point, when you press the dissolving power or you add more sugar again and again, the sugar will no longer dissolve in water. That’s what we call saturated. To prolong the dissolving power, we need to heat it up and keep stirring. In other way, my mom told me that you need to keep moving to endure you from pressure.

In school term, do not waste your time, keep moving. You can travel, reading, watching, and learning something new. Just keep moving, and you will make a friend with pressure. Like the kungfu master. To endure pain, you need to feel the pain over and over again until your body endures it. Ohya, I also have me time. As a Muslim, I have 5 times prayer to the God. At that time, I can release and refresh my mind so I am ready to get more pressure. Its like yoga J

Other things, I like travel a lot. I can ask my friend or even myself to travel. I can even go to Taipei by myself just to take a picture. Yup, I love photography. That’s the thing to refresh my mind from school work. After travel, I usually write my travel notes in my personal blog. You can click it www.nugrohogalih.wordpress.com I use bahasa Indonesia to write it. Hehehe..

Beside that one, I also call my parents and my lovely sister and brother in my hometown Indonesia. Hear their voices make me very happy. So I can forget a little bit the pressure from school work. I also have so many stock movies to be watched someday when I really don’t know what to do. Hear the music, and read also my choices to release the pressure and fill up my spare time.

Hi colleagues. My name is Helen Murdoch and I am from the peaceful island in the central pacific called Kiribati. Currently I am pursuing Master’s program in Nursing at the National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences. Master’s program is a very challenging program as it requires two most important things which are time and commitments. A master’s program is more challenging to me compared to undergraduates program because the fact that it requires one’s personal commitment. Moreover it is a self-directed learning therefore if students do not know how to cope with it may create pressure which may interfere with students’ progress.

There are a lot of assessments involved at Master’s program including exams, practical exams, assignments, presentations and more challenging is writing a thesis. Writing a thesis requires student to do a lot of reading, which is not a simple task to do. Consequently, I have to find strategies to cope with pressure I encounter in order to control the pressure I encounter from schoolwork and keep up with schoolwork. In doing so I will be able to fulfill my goal and that is to return home with higher qualification.

To begin with, I’m most confident that praying relieves stress and pressure. I am a Catholic and every Sunday I attended mass. I felt that attending church and praying really helped me to ease my mind and therefore able to cope with school work pressure. Attending masses is so much similar with meditation which helps me to relax the mind.

Secondly, sightseeing is another way of relieving pressure. Since Taiwan is a nice place with lots of interesting places to see, sometimes after church, I would go out with colleagues from my country to visit places such as the zoo. Apparently, doing something that you enjoy can take your mind off your work for as long as you enjoy yourself and forget about school work for a brief period of time.

I believe that one of the most important skills that every student must master is the ability to deal with the pressure of school work. I have learnt to develop and nurture this skill throughout my years of school back home in Belize and even here in Taiwan. I’m sure everyone has their own way(s) to deal with this said “pressure”, and maybe some of your ways might be similar to mine. Here are the three main things I always do to cope with the pressure of school work. You can try them out if you like! Hehe.

Firstly, I try my utmost best to complete an assignment, project, or report as early as possible. One thing I cannot bear is procrastination. Please listen when I say that procrastination DOES NOT HELP. As the famous saying goes, “never put off for tomorrow what you can do today”. Completing my school work early, allows me to focus on other stuff I have to do, and it lessens the burden when subsequent assignments come along. Also, most professors don’t mind reviewing my first draft, and this gives an added advantage if I need to go back and make corrections; hence, allowing me to get a better grade than if I was to do it the night before the due date.

Secondly, I’ve learnt to ask for help, opinions, or suggestions from fellow classmates if I am uncertain about a topic or if I just need an outside view of my work. Sometimes the best advice you can get is from your peers. In addition, discussing with them and relaying my concerns allows me to realize that they too may be going through the same situation. By talking with each other, we may be able to help each other out or come up with ways to solve our problems. It is very important to remember that no man is an island. We all need a helping hand sometimes.

Finally, I always make sure to find time to relax and unwind. One cannot focus too much on school and not make time to recuperate and rejuvenate the nerves; in the same way, you cannot expect to be relaxed all the time and slack off on the academics side. I think the goal is to balance your school work with leisure time.  Some activities that I find very relaxing and beneficial to my overall health as a young adult include; hanging with friends after class, going to the beach, occasional clubbing, shopping, cookouts with the country-mates, or making use of the social media Facebook. Additionally, I think everyone can agree that listening to music is one of the best and easiest ways to soothe the mind and body. I listen to music every day of my life, and it serves as a form of therapy for me, even far beyond my school work. Whether it is reggae, soca, dancehall, bachata, reggaeton, or zouk; the soothing effects have made me so thankful that music exists J

Coping with the many pressures of life is an important mechanism for peace of mind and survival! One situation which can often create some degree of pressure is that of numerous school assignments. It can cause one to become stressed and this then affects you mentally and physically! However, I believe that the key to these types of situations is to try to avoid them as much as possible and when that fails, then identify what works best for you and get through it. In my academic and work career so far, I have found several strategies which have helped me to avoid situations of pressure. These include: being informed, being organized, not procrastinating and applying a concept of ‘urgent and /or important’!

Firstly, knowing what is happening in my classes and what is expected of me is very important! If you know what is expected of you, then that really is the starting point on getting your schoolwork done. Sometimes it is said that ‘ignorance is bliss’; but in the school environment or any professional environment, that is definitely not the case. You must be aware of what is happening, you must know your deadlines and work to meet or beat them!

Secondly, I try to be organized, that means always trying to write everything down or as much as I can.  I keep of list of the daily activities and sometimes even a larger scope, that is, weekly and monthly activities, which I need to accomplish.  We simply cannot remember everything, so I find that by writing these things down; we can actually have something tangible to keep track of which activities are finished and which are  still pending.

Studying in Taiwan is one of the most challenging and interesting part of my life. Taiwan has exposed me to different cultures as well as more innovative ways of learning. I came from a country of people of common ancestry and cultural heritage, hence similar ways of life. Moving away from my home country to study abroad, I expected to face challenges as well as difficulties along the way.

How do you cope with the pressure from schoolwork?

There are four main things I usually used to do when get stressed out with schoolwork.  These are surfing the internet, catching up with my Taiwanese friends, being alone doing extra-curricular activities, and most important of all is doing physical exercise.

 

Facebook is one of the most common website I usually visit when I'm stressed out.  I hardly post anything on facebook just enjoy reading my friends' statues and posts.  Most of my friends' posts and statues are funny where I can spend like more than an hour or so. Shared and posted photos and videos of my friends on facebook are the most time consuming, however watching them really helps releasing the stresses and pressure.

Youtube is the second common website I used to browse when I am under pressure from schoolwork.  Sometimes I miss my home country when I'm stress sometimes so watching my country's video as well as listening to local songs do really help me to lighten and ease the burden.

 

Eating and chatting with my Taiwanese is another way to release the schoolwork stress.  I really like to spend some of my times with my Taiwanese friends eating and talking together when I am bored and under extreme schoolwork pressure.  It is fun to be around your friends and sometimes I almost forget the heavy burden of schoolwork.  Additionally, seeing the smiling faces around you really boosts your morale.

 

Sometimes I need to be alone eating or doing extracurricular activities without the company of friends or classmates.  The campus of NSYSU is so natural and beautiful where both the ocean and mountain are integral part of it.  The secret beach as most people call it is my favourite spot to see the sunset and swimming.  The beach is no longer secret as most people in Kaohsiung knew it; however the entry is restricted people can still enter through broken fence.  Seeing such a spectacular sunset and swimming in the cool seawater make me feel relaxed and refresh.  The bouncing waves and salty water of the ocean always give me energy and courage to fight and overcome any difficulties and challenges.  Every time I swim in Taiwan it always reminds me my childhood times back in the days in my home island where the blue lagoon is the only place for kids and even old people to play in and have fun.  My home island is very small and is surrounded by sea.  No mountains in my island so for me the mountain is very special.  Near my dorm there is a hiking trail so sometimes I walk up the mountain for an hour just to enjoy the scenery and take a brief break from studying.  The smell of different plants together with sound of insects in the mountain really help me to clear my mind.

As time progresses and lecturers give out more and more assignment school work can become more and more stressful. There are certain strategies I use to mitigate the stress levels when the schoolwork piles up. These methods may help in reducing the amount of pressure one endures during college education.

 

  • Time management

Time is a very valuable resource and should be well managed. To successfully organize my daily activities: yearly, weekly and daily plans are drawn. This entails a good brainstorming session on what task I want to achieve in the said amount of time.

For the weekly plan, I have a timetable similar to the high school time table. This shows all my course time attendance, gym and club activities which I participate in weekly. A calendar is used to draw up the yearly and the daily plan.

The final tool I use, in diarizing and planning, is my cell phone diary. Since I always carried it with me, I am able to key in tasks that pop up on the go. The advantage of using this technology is that all my diarized activities on my phone are synchronized with my Google account. This is to make sure that whenever I lose my phone I still have all my data stored in a cloud and can be accessed from any computer connected to the internet.

An alarm is set on the cell phone schedule for vital tasks. It is easy to over task yourself, resulting in a heavy work load. As an advice to future students, leave a reasonable of amount breathing room for rest and other tasks that may pop up along the way.

 

About this, actually is very personal, because people have different level of tolerance to stress and because people can get stressed by different reason (and sometimes is like the tide: maybe today you are stressed by something and tomorrow not anymore). I try to avoid stress, because it is the cause of most of the pressure you feel for everything, including school’s life. It is possible to divide the scholar life in 2 parts: the regular schoolwork (which includes homeworks, lectures, projects, presentations, any activity for which have a generous amount of time to work on) and the test study/final project (those activities with a high value and decide whether or not you approve).

 

For the regular activities, usually I have no problem (unless the due time is very short and the job is long and/or hard). Of course, for some homeworks I got stress when things don’t go the way I would like; but in those cases, I have a broad set of strategies to help me to calm down and renew the fight. For example, when frustrated, I stop and go outside to take a walk and clear the mind, take a coffee or a tea; enjoying the day is always a good idea. Another option is just go to the roof of the building or just rest at the balcony, letting the mind fly away, perhaps when it comes back to reality it’ll bear a good idea. If the problem has multiple possible solutions, make a list of those and try each possible approach (one must be the correct); on the other hand, if the problem has only a possible solution, battle the problem optimist, eventually the answer should show up by itself; if this is not the case, take aside the pride and look for help, even if you don’t know the answer, there should be someone that knows it.