Coping With Stress in University Students

How to Cope with Stress at University

Leaving home for the first time can cause a lot of stress in university students. From coursework deadlines to arguments with that one messy housemate, there are many reasons why you may be feeling stressed. However, this isn’t something that you should be worrying about, especially as coping with student life is something that will become easier with time.

The first thing to remember is that these feelings are perfectly natural. A lot of students experience high levels of stress at university, particularly when they are in their first year. This is understandable, although there are certain things that you can do that might relieve your feelings of stress. In this list, we have recorded some of the main triggers for stress in university students, along with some of the things that might make you feel a little more relaxed. 


There is perhaps nothing more terrifying than your first university deadline. You may have heard other students discussing the importance of these deadlines, and how late work can be capped at a certain mark. This can seem daunting, especially if you’re not used to such stringent time limits. At the same time, though, you need to remember to relax. At most universities, your first year will not even count towards your final degree, so just remember to take a step back. As long as you put enough time into your assignment, you’re sure to do well.

Keeping Up with the Work

One main reason for stress in university students is simply keeping up with the amount of work that is expected. This is perfectly natural, as it is likely to be a lot more work than you are used to, but if you’re struggling, it’s important to remember not to panic. University is hard work, but as long as you put the work in, you should be able to keep up. One way to do this is to design a schedule for yourself. On days when you’re not too busy, such as at the weekend, set goals for yourself. How much reading do you need to get done each day? How much research? Set yourself goals and then try to stick to them!

Housemate Disagreements

We all know that there is more to student life than academic work, which is why there are a few other factors that can cause stress in university students. Whether you are in your first or third year of university, you are likely to experience housemate disagreements. It’s simply a result of living in a group of unfamiliar people who are all the same age, and, unfortunately, it’s something that most of us have to put up with. However, it’s always a good idea to speak to your housemate and tell them how you are feeling. Tell them why you are upset and that you want to resolve the issue. If you’re still not getting on with your housemate, then there are certain procedures that you can take, such as talking to an accommodation officer, or, if you are truly desperate, looking for an alternative place to live. It may seem radical, but if a housemate is causing you to feel stressed, then moving out may be your best option.

Poor Accommodation

It may not be your housemates that are causing you to feel uncomfortable in your new home. Unfortunately, some student accommodation is not the most luxurious, and this can be very stressful, especially if you’re sharing a kitchen or bathroom with a large number of people. The standard of accommodation often depends on how much you pay, but not always. If you feel as though your accommodation is unacceptable, you do have a right to complain. Contact your landlord or accommodation officer and point out the problems. If you’re still feeling stressed about your living arrangements after talking to them, then you might want to consider looking for some new accommodation.


Another main reason for stress in university students is homesickness. This often occurs early on in a university year and can be really disheartening. Fortunately, there are a few ways to combat these feelings: you can decorate your room with pictures of your friends and family, have a phone call with some friends, or perhaps even think about arranging a visit home. Even if this won’t be for a few weeks, it will give you something to look forward to, and give you the confidence to focus on student life. You may also want to consider keeping yourself busy. Don’t shut yourself away in your bedroom; head out and explore the city you’re now living in. By simply getting out of your accommodation and talking to people, you will feel much more comfortable.

The Future

No matter which stage of student life you are now in, there is one question that you will be hearing a lot: “what do you want to do after university?”. This is likely to cause a lot of stress in university students, particularly if you have no way of answering this question. The first thing to remember is that, if you’re only in your first year, you do not need to be worrying about this yet! Most students only begin to decide what they want to do in their futures towards the end of their final year. Even if you’re at this stage, though, you don’t need to panic. Consider your options: do you want to go onto further study? Do you want to look for a job? Do you want to consider taking a year out and travelling abroad? Or, perhaps you would like to both work and continue your education? There are so many options open to you, and even after you make your decision, this isn’t binding. Postgraduates are constantly changing their minds, as well as their jobs, so no matter what your decision is, it doesn’t have to be final! 

University life can be extremely stressful, but as long as you stay calm and follow this advice, you’ll do fine. Remember that this is just one stage of your life and even if you’re not enjoying it now, that doesn’t mean that you never will. Most universities also have mental health services, where there may be experts who can help overcome stress in university students. Do some research and always remember the importance of talking to those around you. 

If you do find yourself in a situation where you are searching for alternative accommodation, get in touch with us and see how we can help.