In a blink of an eye, it is already the end of the semester and I am sure many of you have found it very different and uncertain. Be it university workload or COVID-19, just remember that you are not alone! Over the course of my first semester at university, I have felt overwhelmed at times because assignments were piling up and it was a struggle keeping up with both job commitments and academic life. In the middle of this was the COVID-19 pandemic and I felt rather helpless without my family by my side. However, I knew it was important to stay resilient in times like this and I found several effective ways to deal with the stress. So here I’ll be sharing some of those tips with you.
Learning to not over-commit outside of school
Yes, it may sound tempting to take up as many casual jobs as you can as an international student because who doesn’t want to earn extra pocket money while studying overseas? Trust me, when I adopted that mindset and went ahead to work almost every single day of the week, I felt so burnt out by the time I reached the end of week two at uni. I felt like I lacked ‘me time’ which I find so important as it allows me to take a breather from my hectic school life. I was literally on the verge of collapsing and crying waterfalls because I could not cope with everything that was on my plate and found it a struggle to manage my stress levels. In the end, I decided that over-committing myself was certainly taking its toll (also because my casual job involves me planning detailed dance lessons and choreographies for kids which is very time-consuming) and I decided to drop two days off my work schedule. This has been the best decision I made so far. I felt so much more alive, gradually gaining back my smile and finding myself better capable to manage my university workload and reduce my stress levels.
Making a weekly planner and a to-do-assignment list
Once again, this is extremely crucial if you are wanting to feel organised and not feel pressurised by the mountain of tasks that you are expected to complete. Most of us may have already known of the benefits of making a weekly planner, such as being able to find time to do leisure activities like exercising, but did you know having a to-do-assignment list comes in very handy as well? For me, I listed down all the assignments I was tasked to do and sequenced them according to their due dates (see the image below). This ensured that I did not miss out on any assignments and I could even submit them a few days before the deadline.
Getting updates from QUT Guild and seeking support from QUT services
If you didn’t know by now, QUT Guild is an organisation that provides services, support, representation, events, and resources to help students through their studies. I have been following QUT Guild on Facebook which is really helpful as they regularly post updates in regards to the COVID-19 situation. For example, they have been preparing welfare packs for students in need during this crucial period. Besides QUT Guild, there are also other QUT services available to help you including QUT Medical Centre (these services are free for all QUT enrolled students), financial and counselling support, and the International Student Services. Do not hesitate to reach out, we are all in this together!
Gardens Point medical centre contact number: 07 3138 2321
Kelvin Grove medical centre contact number: 07 3138 3161
I know that some of you may be wondering where else you can get your groceries beside Woolworths in Kelvin Grove and Coles in the City (well, the majority of us are living around these areas). So, here are just some other suggestions of where you can buy groceries.
Not too far away from Kelvin Grove, Newmarket boasts a bakery store, butchery, and Coles. I like going to Newmarket to get my grocery shopping done instead of Kelvin Grove because it is less crowded, and I managed to purchase all my necessities! I also like to support smaller local businesses (highly recommend you do this as well) so I sometimes go to the butcher to get some fresh meat or to the bakery for soft, fluffy loaves of bread.
Indooroopilly Shopping Centre
This shopping centre is one of my personal favourite malls to go to! Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, Target, Kmart are all situated in this one mall, so you definitely will be able to get something on your shopping day! Besides these, there is also an Asian supermarket and a fresh fruit and vegetable store located on the 1st floor of the mall.
Supporting local stores
As I have mentioned before, supporting local stores is extremely important in times like this, be it groceries, clothes, accessories etc. Just simply pop into any of these stores, make a purchase or two and you will definitely feel happy knowing that you are supporting the local economy and making positive differences to peoples’ lives!
Go shopping/travelling around Queensland
You deserve a break after going through a long and difficult semester! Give yourself a treat and do something you love, be it shopping, exploring new places, etc. Feel free to check out our previous blog posts or go over to #CountdownToQUT on Facebook and join the group as some of our posts include several wonderful places in Queensland you can visit this Winter!
Do not panic, my friends! We all know that this is a stressful moment for all of us, but we will eventually get through this.