It’s tempting to view a scholarship as the be all and end all of your educational journey. With a fully sponsored education and a guaranteed job after graduation, it seems that there is little else for you to worry about.
However, securing a scholarship is only the beginning. As a scholar, you’re probably widely acknowledged as being part of the cream of the crop. This can often translate into a heavy burden to always perform and deliver results, in addition to upholding the highest standards of conduct. Consistency is a sly thing that often eludes the best of us, and as a scholar, you will find an even greater pressure to be consistent in all that you do.
But before you start pulling your hair out, take heart. A scholarship can offer you an immensely fulfilling learning journey with its multitude of opportunities. With the right attitude and approach, you can ensure that you manage your stress levels well and make the most out of your scholarship.
Rest and Recreation
No matter how busy you are, you should always try to take time out from your packed schedule to rest. Prolonged periods of heightened stress can lead to health problems like high blood pressure, anxiety and even depression, which will only affect your ability to cope even further.
The time you set aside for some much need rest and recreation can help you rejuvenate your spirits and refresh yourself. You’ll always work better when you feel well-rested, and that’s only possible if you refrain from pushing yourself too hard. It’s good to challenge yourself and test your limits, but you should never do so at the expense of your physical or mental health.
Make Friends and Socialise
Friends are an essential part of your university and working life. You’ll enjoy going to class or work a lot more if you actually enjoy the company of the people there. While some people may argue that the ability to separate their personal and professional lives is a valuable coping mechanism, that doesn’t mean that you should float through university or work dissociated from the rest of your peers.
The forging of meaningful relationships with your peers can go a long way towards helping you manage feelings of stress or anxiety. Humans are social creatures and a healthy social life outside of school and work will help you keep your spirits up. Studies have even shown that regular social activities can help alleviate stress and boost self-esteem.
Finally, take care of yourself and your health by eating healthy and exercising regularly. Junk foods and a sedentary lifestyle can leave you with low energy levels and feeling sluggish and lethargic.
Go for healthier options during meal times and refrain from that late night feast in front of the television. In addition, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Exercise produces endorphins – the body’s ‘feel-good’ hormones – which can help improve your mood and help you feel better about yourself.
It’s easy to neglect yourself and your social life when you’re trying to live up to what’s expected of you as a scholar. But remembering to pace yourself and taking time out to relax, socialise and unwind will ensure that you thrive under the pressure.