Handling Anxiety as a Student

November 02, 2022

By Zoe Der

University can be a stressful time for most, especially when you're struggling with anxiety. Anxiety in students is common due to the pressure that accompanies academia. From personal experience as a second-year student, I know that dealing with anxiety while being in school can be extremely challenging. Although anxiety can feel inescapale, there are some ways to make life easier as a student with anxiety.

Here are four tips to tackle anxiety:

1. Monitoring Your Social Media Use

Overconsumption of social media can unknowingly cause negative effects on your headspace. Social media can be especially harmful for young adults because they are more susceptible to content leaving impressions on them. Reading articles about political unrest, for example, can be stressful. Similarly, altering our Instagram pictures may fuel body dysmorphia. Even simply trying to stay in touch with social circles through platforms can unconsciously cause distress. Try to limit your social media use throughout the day, particularly during stressful daily activities, like working on assignments and studying for exams.

2. Planning Your Tasks

You can minimize your anxiety through proactivity. Many students tend to leave assignments unfinished (or even unstarted) until the day before they're due, which leads to all-nights and next-day exhaustion. Balancing your studies, work, social life, and self-care can be hard, so try creating a checklist. Think about how to divide your time based on priority, as this will minimize the risk of forgetting tasks, becoming stressed, or feeling as if you are trying to do everything at once.

3. Socializing

A common effect of anxiety is loneliness. Isolation can be induced by the anxious feelings produced when someone is in a public space. Often, anxiety encourages people to just to avoid going out altogether; however, isolation is one of the biggests causes of anxiety and if continued, will only make matters worse. Making time to socialize with your peers is important to combat this loneliness. Whether that means makings plans with friends, studying with classmates, or spending the day with family, socializing is essential for a healthy mental state.

4. Finding Resources on Campus

Seeing a psychologist has helped me tremendously. Talking to a professional has provided me with the tools to handle my anxiety and stop it from interfering with my life. Both the SFU Burnaby and Vancouver campuses offer online and in-person counselling services. The clinics can also recommend resources that will help you meet your mental health needs. You can find SFU's mental health resource information here.

Having anxiety as a student is common and many times is considered to be a part of life. I encourage those who find themselves experiencing feelings of anxiousness to find solutions and use the resources that SFU offers. I hope my tips have helped you, and remember that you are not alone.


Visit SFU's Health & Counselling today!