Be Prepared and Proactive
There are a number of ways that you can be prepared and proactive to help you avoid crisis situations while you are studying.
Study skills and academics
With larger class sizes and different academic expectations, including a more demanding workload, university can be challenging. To help cope with the pressures of academic life, you can make an appointment with an academic advisor in the Academic Advising Centre or participate in study skills workshops in the Centre for Student Academic Support (CSAS) that cover topics like note-taking, active reading, and exam preparation. Students can also sign up for a mentorship program at the Student Experience Office.
Keeping up with lectures, readings and assignments, financial pressures, part-time jobs, extra-curricular activities, and social engagements will challenge you to manage your time appropriately. Time is your most precious resource and if you manage your time properly you will be better able to cope in the event of a crisis. The Centre for Student Academic Support also offers time management study skills workshops.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Part of a balanced lifestyle includes taking care of your physical health and wellness. Proper nutrition and adequate sleep are essential to learning. The benefits of exercise for stress management are well documented so try to incorporate some exercise into your daily schedule. Carleton’s Health Promotion team offers many resources and strategies to maintain a healthy lifestyle – you can follow them on Instagram (@carletonwellness) or find them at one of the many tabling and events they host through the year. The Department of Recreation and Athletics offers a wide range of programs and facilities for students. You can also drop by the Health and Counselling Services Resource Centre at 2600 Carleton Technology and Training Centre or at on-campus display booths to pick up health and wellness resources and information.
Find a balance
Proper balance is the key to success. If any one area of your life becomes too demanding, then the other areas can suffer as you try to compensate. This should not stop you from taking on new challenges and learning opportunities, but be aware of your limits and don’t take on more than you can manage. Also, set aside leisure time to help restore your energy.
Finding balance between academic and extra-curricular activities is another way you can relieve stress. Find out more about the leadership development and community service learning opportunities available to you at the Student Experience Office and find out more about how you can get involved in clubs and societies.
Students often underestimate the amount of money needed to finance their education. When expenses mount, working more hours at a job seems like the only way to make ends meet. However, working full-time and going to school full-time is extremely challenging. Use the resources available at the Awards and Financial Aid Office to help create a budget and find alternative sources of funding, like scholarships, bursaries, and financial aid.
A strong support network can help you cope. Your peers, professors, teaching assistants, academic advisors, counsellors and other support staff on campus are all in a position to help you deal with crisis situations. Often it is someone in your support network who notices the level of stress you are experiencing, so stay connected!
First Steps for Dealing with a Crisis
It is essential that you address crisis situations as soon as possible to give yourself adequate time to take action. The first step is to talk to someone. You may not be aware of the gravity of your situation while you are in it. Talking to someone can open the door to the healing process. Talk to a friend, family member, one of your professors, a counsellor or the Care and Support team in Wellness Services (613-520-2600 ext. 1358). If you are dealing with an academic issue, you may wish to talk to an academic advisor in the Academic Advising Centre or your departmental advisor.