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Study Tip: Don't Be So Hard On Yourself

Thursday 14th September 2023

University life is a unique and transformative period, filled with opportunities for growth, learning, and self-discovery. However, it's also a time when students often find themselves under immense pressure to excel academically, socially, and personally.

This pressure can sometimes lead to students being overly critical of themselves and losing sight of the joy that should accompany the pursuit of knowledge.

If you feel like you have lost your mojo a little, here are some tips:

Learning Takes Time

Learning is a cumulative process, and mastering complex subjects takes time. You won't become an expert overnight. MA-level study is about acquiring deep knowledge and honing critical thinking skills. Don't rush the process; embrace the gradual accumulation of knowledge.

Life's Unpredictability

Life as an MA student can be busy and unpredictable. Balancing coursework, your career, extracurricular activities, and personal life can be challenging. Understand that unexpected setbacks and distractions are a part of life, and it's perfectly okay to adapt and readjust your goals accordingly.

Falling Behind is Normal

At some point in your university journey, you might fall behind your schedule. It's important to remember that this happens to everyone, and it's not a reflection of your abilities or worth. The key is to learn from your setbacks, adjust your approach, and keep moving forward.

Accept Mistakes

Perfectionism can be a significant source of stress for MA students. The constant pursuit of flawlessness can lead to burnout and hinder your ability to enjoy the learning process. Mistakes are valuable learning experiences. Don't view them as failures but as opportunities for growth. When you make a mistake, analyse what went wrong, and use it as a stepping stone towards improvement.

Set Realistic Expectations: Set achievable goals and expectations for yourself. Understand that it's okay not to be the best at everything, and it's more important to give your best effort and enjoy the learning journey.

Practice Self-Compassion

Treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion that you would offer to a friend. Remember that you are human, and it's okay to ask for help when needed. Seek support from academic friends and family, advisors, and peers and don’t be afraid to reach out to professional services if you are struggling.

Remember, just keep moving forward and try to enjoy the ride.

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