Beating University Blues

By: Andisile Klaas

‘Umgowo’ is a word derived from “going” and is a term coined by isiXhosa speaking millennials to describe a situation that may seem too much to bear.

Stress comes in many forms for students from academics, financial constraints and even emotional battles. Students suffer from way more than they would like to admit and with the mid-year exams coming up, its about to get even harder. Here are a few simple tips to help beat the “Umgowo” blues:

Planning is key!

Planning ranges from researching ways to use your time effectively, creating a timetable around tests and exam dates, writing down important things and creating goals, to name a few. Planning is also organizing your notes and other studying materials, so they can be easily accessible to avoid more stress when trying to study. The internet is filled with printable templates from calendars, planners and diagrams to write concepts and definitions or charts (see The Organised Student).

Some of the issues faced by students run deeper than just the inefficient use of time and lack of planning, it is sometimes being emotionally unwell. An unhealthy emotional state of a student can hinder the studying process in a huge way, but the university offers counselling services free of charge to all students. The Student Counselling, Career & Development Center (SCCDC) is a team of professionals made up of counselling psychologists and counsellors who offer free services to students across all campuses. Besides aiding students academically, they also cover personal issues and career development.  For further information, visit their website here

It’s been said that teamwork makes the dream work and there is nothing like sharing responsibilities to make things less overwhelming, that can be achieved by forming a study group or joining a society. Societies are groups made up of individuals with shared interests, behaviour and goals and the Nelson Mandela University has several of them ranging from academic, political, religious and even social. If that seems like a lot of work and the thought of strangers scare you, one can start a study group with your current classmates and share responsibilities to make the studying process much easier whilst saving time.

Self-care, over the past few years, has been recognised as one of the most important things one can do for themselves and there’s also a misconception that self-care is only going to the day spa to get pampered, which is simply not true. Self-care rituals vary from individual to individual as it is the number of things one does to make themselves happy and keep themselves protected from stress and negativity. Some of these rituals include listening to music, spending time with yourself, meditating, jogging etc. as the saying goes: “a healthy body leads to a healthy mind”.

Beating varsity blues is not a one-size fits all situation, one must look for ways that speaks to them individually and that can be personalized according to their preferences and time schedule using the above tips as guide.

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