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Advice and Counselling Service


Experiencing anxiety as a student 

Studying can be demanding. It is natural to feel anxious about this, particularly at times of extra pressure such as exams and deadlines. Thereare many factors in our lives that can also contribute to anxiety, including those that are part of the student experience,such as living away from home, cohabiting with other students, socialising or personal finances. 

Experiencing anxiety is a normal part of the human experience. However, problems with anxiety arise when we start to feel anxious more often and more intensely, when there is no real danger, and it seems to happen without reason. Anxiety can stop you doing what you want to do in day to day life, get in the way of your studies or impact on your relationships. The good news is there are lots of things that can help. 

Ways to support yourself 

  • Respond to your body’s experience of anxiety –practise breathing techniques, do soothing activities (such as taking a bath, listening to music, doing something creative), exercise or go for a walk in the fresh air.
  • Process your feelings – it can be helpful to share our difficulties and the process of talking or writing or creating can help us to feel some relief.  
  • Take regular time out to rest and recover– you need to have breaks from studying and from anxiety-provoking activities. Schedule in time to rest and do relaxing or fun activities. 
  • Practise mindfulness - Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment. It helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, we're better able to manage them. Mindfulness is proven to help with stress and anxiety. Find out more about how to learn mindfulness on the MIND website
  • Practise self-compassion – try to be understanding and kind to yourself when you experience anxiety. When we are critical of ourselves, it can contribute to our feeling of overwhelm or struggle. Read more about self-compassion: 
  • Reach out for support – it may be helpful to talk to your GP if you’re feeling very anxious, or you can to speak to someone one-to-one.  

Specialist organisations

You may find it helpful to visit the following organisation’s websites or contact them for further support: 

Anxiety UK

Anxiety UK have a helpline and online information about a wide range of anxiety conditions and disorders 


Provides more detailed information about the symptoms of anxiety and ways to respond to it. 

Further resources 

There are several books addressing anxiety issues available through ourBibliotherapy scheme including :

  •  Manage your Mind
  •  Stress and Relaxation: A practical guide to self-help techniques
  •  Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway
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