Halfway through the semester, how are you coping?

By Aliff Asyraf Zainal

As human beings, dealing and coping with stress is something that we cannot run away from. Stress could come in various forms and handling it could be harder for some people.

Students especially, are most often associated with stress. Due to multiple of assignments to do, and quizzes back to back, these could be one of factors that lead to escalating stress levels for students. Even mid-semester break is super short and some students felt very disappointed as they could not enjoy their break longer to escape from the study-stress. It is not considered as holidays for students especially when they have many deadlines to catch up after the four-day holiday.

Nur Hamizah Hj. Ramli, in her research on “Academic stress and self-regulation among university students in Malaysia: playing a mediator role on mindfulness”, said: “Major sources of stress among students are mostly difficulties in concentrating due to the presence of excessive information, pressure of heavy workload and examinations that cause harmful effects on their health and performance.”

However, Nur Hamizah believes that it can be overcome by proper regulations. “Self-regulation helps students to facilitate goal-oriented actions and maximum adjusting to emotional and cognitive will be challenging and stimulating throughout successful regulation of feelings, emotions, behaviours, and cognitions.”

“My stress level is high, especially because I am in the top management of the Students Representative Council (SRC). I have to cater to students’ problems and current issues alongside with my colleagues but that would not stop me from doing my final year project and group assignments,” said SRC’s President, Ahmad Irham Bin Dollah.

Students tend to have more things to do – meetings for associations, executing events and more, when they join students associations or societies in campus. These are not reasons for them to not do their assignments or attend classes regularly. Students who joined many activities in campus should know how to manage their time so they will not feel stressed out.

As for Irham, planning things out and not procrastinating is the way to keep him away from a stressful situation. “Imagine if I keep on postponing to do my assignments, I have to work even harder when it is time for me to submit,” he said.

Vice Chairperson 1 for Secretariat of Psychology (PSYCSTA), Nor Zahirah Afrina Kamarulzaman, said, “This semester has been tiring to juggle between studies and the programmes I am handling.”

For the upcoming weeks, Nor Zahirah Afrina said that she has a big programme coming and mid-semester examination too, but she is resilient enough to pull everything through. The big project that is handled by Zahirah Afrina is National Aspiration Summit Leadership Series in IIUM that will be held in April. Also, she is the assistant programme manager for the Gombak Project under the Department of Psychology.

Therefore how could students cope with stress?

Students should really know how to manage their time wisely. If they have so many on their plates, they should know how to prioritise. For instance, if they have a quiz and meetings for their societies, they should spend more time to study for the quiz rather than attending meetings.

Ahmad Irham said that his focus are on two things now, which are his studies and the SRC commitments. They are important because he was the one who chose this path. Therefore, time management is very important for him.

Nur Elena Abdul Rahim Hew, from Kulliyyah of Engineering, the Dean’s list award recipient and an activist, said that she would complete her extra co-curricular activities, assignments and reports on time so that she would have ample time to study for her quizzes and mid-semester examinations.

Apart from time management skills, students should really take health into account, especially in this current extreme hot weather. Drinking sufficient amount of water, as advised by doctors, three litres per day could help one to focus too.

In case you notice anyone who looks like he or she might be having heatstroke, you can immediately cool down their temperature while waiting for emergency help. Make sure to get the person down the roof and remove the excess clothing and cool the person with water or ice.

Hence, taking care of one’s health could ensure that the IIUM community is in high spirit to keep going for the upcoming weeks left in the semester. Stay positive, stay safe people and keep moving! ***

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