The life of a university student is hectic, busy, and most of all, stressful. Enjoy your younger years! That’s what university students are repeatedly told. But how is this possible when students are juggling five classes, homework, assignments, and jobs?

The average university student has five classes a week. The homework from having five classes adds up very quickly, then on top of that students have tests and exams to study for. While trying to balance all this, many students need to work.

Working many hours leads to students having to complete their homework in the late hours of the day. There is a direct relation to less sleep and mental health. Not allowing yourself to rest your brain can lead to slower decision-making and will affect your mental health.

Many students have to deal with anxiety as well. Anxiety affects many students when having to do presentations or any form of public speaking. Anxiety affects students the most during exams. The thought about a huge percentage of their grade being dependent on one exam is a scary thought.

It’s no wonder that University Canada reports that 65 percent of students have anxiety and 46 percent of students claim that they are too depressed to fully function.

So what can students do to improve their mental health? One thing is to recognize that relaxation is important for your mental health. Another way many students and people can better their mental health is through being with friends and enjoying their hobbies. The clear issue here is that a university student needs to balance so many things in their life with school, work, and homework and don’t have the time or have very little time to participate in the things that help with their mental health.

Anthony Soufiani, a third-year Business student says there are occasions where he is juggling too much school and work and misses out on opportunities to be with friends or enjoy his hobbies. Anthony also said that hanging out with friends is his way of dealing with stress and bettering his mental health.

Planning ahead and staying organized are some ways students can leave themselves free time. Jordan Cutmore who works at the media cage and as a digital media and communications assistant at the recruitment office uses these tips to keep herself grounded. Jordan said, “she needs to stay organized, or else she’ll get thrown off the deep end.”

Planning ahead allows you to have a better understanding and visually see what needs to be completed and when it needs to be done. This allows you to avoid being overwhelmed.

Students use agendas, or calendars to jot down their to-do lists. Writing notes and points down is something that helps to instill or drill key information into your brain. Having the due dates of assignments on a calendar is a great way to remind yourself when something needs to be done. It’s a great and effective way to map out how to divide the time needed for each individual thing.

Guelph Humber students Jordan Cutmore and Anthony Soufiani both are taking classes this semester and are balancing work as well. Jordan says she works 12 hours at the media cage and 12 hours as digital media and communications assistant at the recruitments office. Anthony said he works 24-30 hours a week at Walmart.

Research has shown that physical activity is a great way to deal with anxiety. Going for walks, jogging, yoga or any type of exercise is an effective way to clear and relax your mind.

Talking about what you are dealing with is the best and most effective way to deal with all the emotions you feel. Talking to friends and family about what you are feeling, feels like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders.

Guelph-Humber has free personal and professional counselling for students who need it. The counselling services are there to provide support to students, help them work through their problems, work with students to reach their goals, and assist students to be effective learners. Virtual private sessions are available for all students. Group counselling services are also offered to students where each week they are taught a new skill to help deal with their emotions. All of this can be found through the Humber Guardian app.