Autumn at KI

6 tips to beat stress and improve your academic skills

During your student life there will always be many challenges. One of the biggest dares is about how to balance school time and mental welfare. For this particular reason, I have decided to create a 6 tip-summary. In this summary, I will advise you on how to build a balanced lifestyle. During my blog I will advise on how to get rid of stress during the scholar period. Finally, I will talk on how to improve your studying and academic writing techniques.

1. Karolinska Institutet Library Workshops

During your studies, you will work on many reports, literature assignments, essays, exams and your thesis. For these reasons, KI library offers workshops aimed at helping to develop and improve your academic skills at writing. These workshops are focused mainly for PhD and master students and most of them are free of charge. At some point during the year, your course leaders will book some of these workshops exclusively for your master’s programme group. This is because you must know how to write with an appropriate academic style. Academic writing also involves avoiding plagiarism, effective use of  sources, citation software use and reading techniques.

Personally I consider that all these workshops were really useful and helped me to improve my writing skills. If you are interested in refining your academic writing or reading methods or you want accessories with some of your assignments you can visit Karolinska Institutet University Library site and register for the workshops you are interested in.

2. Social dancing at KI

Studying is an activity which usually becomes stressful because it consumes most of our time and energy. For these reasons it is important not to fall into monotony and find extracurricular activities, such as dancing. I know not everybody is fan of dancing. However, I believe that everybody can do it and you should give it a chance. During my first months in Sweden I realised that my life became monotonous and I did not know what to do to change it.

When I first discovered social dancing at KI (a bit late by the way), I felt really happy because I had a new activity which involved something I love: dancing Cuban salsa! I think dancing is a great opportunity to keep fit, clear your mind and meet new people. If you want to join social dancing, be aware that these are lessons divided in beginner-intermediate and advanced. Lessons are imparted on Thursdays from 18:00-20:00 and are free of charge if you are MF member.

3. Study smarter and learn more!

These are seminars specially designed to help KI students to improve their study techniques. This isbecause you will obviously have many, many exams during your student life. There are around 3 to 4 seminars in the academic year and generally all of them are pretty similar. These seminars are offered at campus Solna. They are free of charge for KI students and no pre-registration is needed. During these seminars you learn techniques that will help you to study great amounts of information in efficient ways. You do not need to attend all the seminars during the year, if you assist once that is more than enough to help you improving your study techniques and prepare much better for all your exams.

4. Take advantage of sunny days

Sweden is not a very sunny country (at least not most of the year). However, it is a place which offers amazing landscapes and mesmerizing views. Imagine how beautiful a sunny day in Stockholm can be, because this city is full of beautiful natural places. If you feel stressed, tired or annoyed by exams, workload, assignments, etc. then maybe you should take a break and just go for a walk in a sunny day.

February is the month in which days start to be longer; therefore the days are lighter and also much sunnier. I personally recommend you to take 10-20 minutes in a sunny day to go out, feel the sun and clear your mind while you are walking. This might sound too poetic, but the truth is that it actually works. It really helps you to think clearer, relax and to have better performance at school.

5. Study in groups

I have already mentioned this in other blogs, but it is important to repeat it again in this blog. Studying in groups is a good way to prepare for exams.  Also, to learn and reaffirm concepts that maybe were not clear at all. This is because 2 or more heads think better than one. I consider that sitting with your friends to discuss exam topics is a great way to improve your study techniques. This is because at the end we all learn from ourselves but also from others. This is actually how knowledge is built even at the professional environment.

I personally recommend you to do this because it helps to reduce the workload of studying, it also reduces the stress of an exam and finally because it is emotionally and mentally very rewarding to feel supported by your mates.

6. Exercise yourself

As I mentioned in my latest blog “Sports and Well-being at Karolinska Institutet” exercising and doing sport are very important to keep a balanced and healthy lifestyle. For these reasons you should really consider exercising yourself in order to get rid of unnecessary stress and to clear your mind at the same time you keep healthy. It has been proven in many different scientific studies, that physical activity plays a vital role in maintaining mental health and at reducing stress levels.

This is something you should consider especially during winter season when there is no enough light or sun to be outside and go for a walk. Exercising 2 to 3 days a week for 30 minutes is more than enough to reduce stress and break the monotonous lifestyle rhythm.

I hope this blog had been useful and that it helps you to get rid of stress at the same time you improve your academic skills!

If you have questions about this topic don’t hesitate and contact me!

Aline Colonnello:

Aline Colonnello - Toxicology

Aline Colonnello - Toxicology

My name is Aline Colonnello Montero, I am twenty five years old and I come from the wonderful but busy Mexico City. I consider myself to be a perseverant person who works hard to meet all my goals and ambitions. I have a bachelor’s degree in Biology and I currently study the Master’s programme in Toxicology at Karolinska Institutet. My job as part of the digital ambassadors’ team consists on writing blogs


Related posts