7 Kind of Awesome Ways to Deal with Stress

Here at the University of Auckland, there’s one week left until the end of semester and about a week and a half until the first exams. This means two things: the end-of-semester parties, and people stressing about how much study they need to do.

I’m hoping that my party won’t result in 73 people getting arrested, as in Christchurch.

But I’m not here to talk about parties. I’m here to talk about stress.

This semester, one of my courses consisted of a group project worth 100% of my grade. This project proceeded to NOT WORK. Enthusiastically. Electrical components broke, code worked differently from day to day, and I was home before 10 pm about one day in ten (including weekends)… It was the kind of project that a year ago would have made me so stressed I got sick or grumpy or just gave up altogether.

But I didn’t. Partly it was because my fellow group members were great. Partly it was because of my other classmates – we all helped each other out with this project. But a big part of it was that I deal with stress a lot better now. And, just in time for exams, here are some of the best strategies you might not have thought of.

1) Baking

If you like baking, go ahead: your flatmates/friends/family will eat the evidence that you procrastinated, and love you for it.

If you don’t like baking, you can just hope that one of your friends reads this post and will start bringing cookies to university.

My technically failed but fundamentally delicious version of double chocolate Mars bar cookies


Run as hard as you can, lift heavier weights than usual, or try a steeper hill – the nice thing about the pain and sweating and gasping for breath is that it leaves you zero brainpower to worry while you do it.


Find friends who are NOT freaking out about university. Then tell yourself you absolutely are not allowed to study for the next fifteen minutes or five hours – however much time you can afford.


Swear when you are working on something that just won’t make sense. That way, the more you swear, the more likely it is to start making sense.

Lying (To Yourself)

Useful lies:

“Next year will be easier.”

“I’ve learnt so much.”

“Well, I won’t make that mistake again.”

“I can learn everything I need for the test in three hours.”


By which I mean, cheerleading for yourself. It’s kind of fun to remind yourself what you’ve succeeded at so far this year. Just try not to do it out loud.


Brutal, right? But the more study you’ve done for an exam, the less stressed you’ll be about it.


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