How to keep positive, calm, confident, but above all, in control during university

Stay relaxed and calm at uni

Written by SMS blogger, Neelam Rehman

I need to study. Don't forget to reference! Summer is just around the corner...wait we only have 8 weeks left of the year? Oh look at this cat video! NO. I need to get this assignment done! Arhh! What are you going to do with your life!?

I've had so many thoughts like this, especially around deadlines, and it's really not a great place to be. One thought can spark off so many different thoughts, and you begin to panic about everything from the exam you're sitting next week, to what you're going to do in five years time. This has often happened to me, and left me feeling anxious, blue, and lazy - which are alll emotions you do not want to feel, at any point in your life, let alone near an important deadline.

However, there are a few things that you can do to keep yourself feeling positive, calm, confident, but above all, in control. Here are some of my tips that keep me going.


Remember the days when you woke up... I mean, your alarm went off at 7:00am and you kept pressing the snooze button until 7:30am? Then after another 15 minutes of snoozing, you jumped out of bed (or your mum dragged you out), threw your school uniform on, and headed out the door for a six hour day filled with: x =... compare and contrast... where is your homework...LUNCHTIME!!! etc...

As much as we may have complained about school, most of us have great memories. What you probably didn't realise, is just how much you loved having a routine.

You were always kept busy. Even when you had a free period, you knew you had something to do later, whether it was going to an after school rehearsal/practice, or even heading home early to watch your favourite T.V show. Having a routine is key, because your mind is kept busy, and focused on what you need to achieve.

Take breaks

It's always great to feel you have powered through a load of work, and knowing you have less to do later, but please remember to take breaks.

Pushing yourself too hard can lead to feeling heavy, achy, stressed, and your work will reflect that - all of those hours without a break, wasted! Make an effort to incorporate breaks into your routine, it's okay to take time out.


The reading I'm referring to, are the stories that take you to a chocolate factory or even a Quidditch World Cup. It doesn't matter what you read, just read a book you enjoy. It will open your mind, and gets the brain working, preparing itself for new information to be taken in (that's science!).

Go and pick up a book, and dedicate time to reading it. I read on my commute to university, and it makes the commute more exciting, and entertaining for other commuters when you scream that your favourite character has been killed off. It's happened!

Do something for you

Whether that means writing a journal, having a pyjama day, excersing, putting make up on, playing video games, whatever you personally love doing, do it.

It is so important to remind yourself that you are important, and by doing something that makes you feel good, you feel more confident about facing any challenges. Go for it!

Understand your learning technique

I found that blogging has really helped me with my coursework and assignments. Everyone is different, and whilst some may be able to read textbooks and write notes, others might get a group together and teach each other what they know about the subject. You must find what will help you get the grades/marks you set for yourself, which leads to my next point...


This is one we all have a habit of. It's so easy to ask, "what did you write for that question?", or how are others presenting their work, but like I mentioned above, we are all different. Do what you think is right, otherwise you'll always feel (if you didn't get the grade you wanted), that you should have done the assignment/exam differently.

Follow your gut, and always make sure you're comfortable with the way you're presenting. You will look at your final mark with a positive attitude, and a better understanding about what you need to do to improve, or even what you need to continue to use in your work.


Deadlines and exams are an unavoidable part of university life. After the project/exam etc has ended, get everyone together to go grab a drink, or a meal, or even head to a park to celebrate that it's over! It's nice to see people outside of class time, because you want to, not because you're all there to do studying and work.

Try and try again

If you don't get the grade/mark you want, try again. You can push yourself next time, and remember that it is not the end of the world. If you really want something, you'll make time for it, and make it a priority. Whatever it is, it will be yours, it might just take a few tries.

Above all, remind yourself every single day that you are you. You are not the person across the way from you, you're not your parents, and you're not a doormat that is walked on.*

Things will get tough, but if you know who you are, and what makes you happy, you're less likely to feel down and blue. It's okay to say to yourself, "Hey you know what, this isn't for me. I'm going to try something different." Remember, everyone on your course also have exams, and coursework deadlines, you are not alone.

*Please note, no doormats were harmed in the making of this post.

Follow Neelam via her blog, Twitter (@filmfanatic95) and YouTube account (filmFANatiction).