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Eeep! When study is overwhelming! - Tips, ideas and coping strategies

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Just thought I’d make a post with some tips for study. I know this is something we can all struggle with.

These are all suggestions so feel free to take them or leave them! Hope they help!

If you only remember one thing, let it be this:

You are important. Your grades don’t define you.


Studying can feel isolating but know you’re not alone! Reach out – and find or make friends that can support you along the way.

If you’re having trouble finding some friends, join some local communities or clubs! They have lots at Uni’s and even stuff like open days are great ways to meet new people and find out what’s happening.

Study groups can also be a great way to meet people and stay motivated. Also remind yourself why you’re doing this; inspirational wallpapers or quotes can be super inspiring.

Remember the saying about the oxygen mask? If you can’t take care of yourself first studying will be harder. You are important. You know the drill - water, food, exercise, sleep.

Try to stay calm. Stuff that might be able to help include mindfulness, breathing exercises, colouring in, going for walks, journaling, listening to music…

If you’re struggling – reach out. See a therapist. Talk to your student counsellor. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Also lots of Universities and TAFE offer disability services – which includes conditions like Depression and Anxiety.


Find the right study space for you. Maybe that’s in your room, or a coffee shop, or the library. Some people find that noise helps; other people not so much. If you like particular kinds of noise, you can find ‘coffee shop’ noise or ‘rain sounds’ to help concentrate.

Make a plan. It helps to do it often so it becomes a habit. Anytime you get a due date, write it down. Maybe you could use a diary, planner, bullet journal or an app. I find the 30/30 App helpful - study for a bit and then break for a bit. You can also get add-on’s for your computer to block sites like Facebook if you find them too distracting.

Find out what study technique works for you. Do you like cue cards? Mind maps? Colour coding? Does highlighting stuff help you remember? Charts, maps, diagrams? Recorded lectures?

Goals! These are so important – not just writing down deadlines but rewarding yourself for meeting them. Even making smaller goals like ‘read two pages from a textbook’ can help. Break it down into bite size pieces, and don’t forget to reward yourself after!
51 Replies 51

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Thanks for these tips romantic_thi3f! Even for an older student like me sometimes just really good advice in a fresh way can do just the trick! Especially the student counsellor part, they are gold mines!

I was wondering if I could get some advice on how to tackle a thesis? Like how to not lose interest and procrastinate when it's the only thing you are working on? Any help would be appreciated 🙂

Community Member
we have different ways of how we focus on things and be able to study well. some are able to review with music, with people talking around and the like. Others prefer a quiet environment for them to concentrate. Either way, we see to it that when we study or review, we match our environment with our personality. We develop creative ways in order to cope and be able to study well.

Hi Sweesoft,

I couldn't agree more! I guess I'm struggling to find what works for me, as writing a thesis is a different kind of study as opposed to revising topics for an exam, for example. Do you have any advice for me?

Community Member

Hey everyone!

Something I found really useful while I was studying at uni was making a plan for the day ahead that allowed me to do something I love in between studying. So for example if I wanted to study from 9-5, I would make a plan for the day that looked something like this:

9 - 9:50 study

9:50 - 10 study break, stretch my legs, check my messages etc

10 - 10:50 study

10:50 - 11 study break again, snack (e.g. fruit and nuts or nut bar with tea)

11 - 11:50 study

11:50 - 12 study break

12 - 12:50 study

12:50 - 2 Lunch break, with 30 minutes to prepare and eat lunch mindfully, away from the screen and 40 minutes to do something I enjoy such as watch an episode of my favourite tv show or a bit of drawing or a walk around the block

2 - 2:50 study

2:50 - 3 study break

3 - 3:50 study

3:50 - 4 study break

4 - 4:50 study

4:50 End of the study day! YAY!

I find that by putting 10 minute break at the end of each hour I give my eyes a break from the screen (if i'm using it for an assignment or something) and it also lets my mind have a well needed break so that when I get back into it my mind isn't foggy. I also love putting something in the middle of the day that is more creative and fun rather than focusing on study all day because without this I would most likely procrastinate anyways and definitely spend at least 40 minutes at a minimum on my phone or procrastinating some other way, so why not plan it in and allow yourself the freedom of doing something you love as well as having a productive day studying!!

Community Member

Hi! Thanks for these tips, they are really good and have helped on studying for my assessments.

Do you have any tips for feeling stressed because of being really busy with school work and homework?


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Cassie07,

Welcome to the forums!

Whenever I feel stressed about schoolwork piling up or I don't understand something and it takes me a while to get it. I find the best thing to do is to step away from it for a bit of time. For me, I took as long a break as it took me to calm down. Sometimes it was 10 minutes, sometimes it was 1 hour, sometimes it was a whole day. However, there are many other pieces of school work you could be doing in that time. I found that doing easy work in that break between stressful pieces of work helped me feel more productive, as if I was getting more stuff done, and hence, reduced my stress even more.

Hope this helps,


Hi Cassie,

I find the best thing to do when the amount of school work keeps piling on it to set yourself realistic goals about how long you want to study for, whatever works for you wherever that be studying in one hour blocks or two hours blocks.

Also another tip is to go for walks or engage in some sort of physical activity in between studying. This will help your mental health which will effect your ability to study efficiently and effectively. For myself going for a walk helps, because studying all day long without a solid break doesn't work for me. Again this comes down what studying methods work for you but I hope it helps 🙂

Good luck studying.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Busguy1631,

I also had finished my Bachelor of Psychological Science in 2019! My story is completely identical to yours! In my first 3 years, I was very defensive and never talked to any classmate at uni! But when I got into my GDPA things suddenly changed! I developed my study skills, better eating habits, and exercising a lot more. From there grades skyrocketed from Cs to HDs! I have also formed a study group and believe it is AMAZING!

For others, I would like to share my routine:

2:45 - 6:45am - Wake up/workout1/breakfast/workout2

7:00 am - morning snack

7:30 to 6:30pm - study/volunteering/lunch,snack,dinner/prep for the next day

Also, in between, I have small breaks - just for stretching and relaxing.

Thats is a summary of my routine. I would love to know how others are managing their time around studying?

Community Member

Cool thread!

Here is my study tip: Covid edition

I know it sounds weird but I struggle to study without noise so for most of my HSC I studied in a library because I found the background noise centering. That small and manageable amount of pressure of people watching was enough to keep me sitting in that chair and push through distractions. Being surrounded by others my age studying also helped because I could see and hear my support network.

I understand that know is a very different time so to replace that I have found these asmr video video online that say positive affirmations to you. They are nice to use either as a you study or as a break. It is nice to reaffirm that you are valid and okay even when you don't feel it. Just google asmr spiritual healing etc and test it out!

Community Member
This actually has been really good advice I really suck at studying so some of your advice you have provided I’ll try to look into to help me get better. 🙂