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Written by:
Trinity Hall
17 May 2023

Whether you’re looking for ways to improve sleep, reduce exam stress or manage anxiety I hope the information below helps. Watch out for the Wellbeing Events listed: they include a chance to meet some adorable dogs care of Pets for Therapy, and the opportunity to chat to the Wellbeing Team at one of our roadshows.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the theme this year is “anxiety”. Please read on for information and resources on managing anxiety, including a guide to Coping with Anxiety.

This term, many of you are preparing for or currently undertaking exams. Please read on for information and resources on STUDY SKILLS and MANAGING EXAM STRESS, including the Cambridge SU’s Guide to Getting Through Exams and Student Mind’s Advice for Dealing with Exam Stress.

Many of our postgraduate students are currently conducting research or working on their dissertation or thesis. The Wellbeing Thesis provides information and advice to support your wellbeing, learning, and research through your postgraduate journey, including advice on Feeding your Brain.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling we all experience from time to time. This can be connected to many things such as our experience of University, social situations, a change in our life, and of course, exams too.

Something that can help us manage our anxiety and even improve our academic performance is looking after our wellbeing. For example, evidence shows that students who sleep the night before an exam perform better academically than those who stay up cramming instead. One of the most helpful things you can do to look after your wellbeing and aid your learning is get enough sleep (usually 7-9 hours per night). Here’s a link to a guide on How to Sleep Better.

Evidence also shows that giving ourselves some time out from study and being in nature can help us be less self-critical and more focused when we get back to learning. Try to take some time out to explore the gardens at Wychfield, sit on the lawn at Jesus Green, explore the Botanic Gardens (free for students!) or walk to Grantchester. Remember, evidence shows that such activities are beneficial to your learning so try to chase away any feelings of guilt!

Having useful study skills can help us manage our time efficiently, absorb information more effectively, help boost our confidence and be beneficial to our wellbeing. In his book “Be Well to Learn Well”, Gareth Hughes highlights evidence that shows that looking after our wellbeing boosts our learning, and that this, in turn, boosts our wellbeing so it’s a win-win situation.


Wellbeing events to look out for:

  • Mental Health Awareness and Study Skills Roadshow
    The Wellbeing Team will be hosting a roadshow just outside the Graham Storey room on Wednesday (17th) from 12pm-1:30pm. Do come along to collect some study skills information as well as resources around managing exam stress and anxiety.
  • Come and meet the dogs!
    The Wellbeing team, in partnership with the JCR, will be hosting the Pets as Therapy charity on Saturday, 27th May from 2pm-4pm at Wychfield (by or inside the Sports Pavilion). If you would like to spend some time with a dog, please register via the JCR.

Find a study buddy
Many of you have told us that you benefit from studying with others and for many of you, it doesn’t matter whether this person is on the same course as you or not. Therefore, why not be the one who asks a friend or someone you know whether they would like to meet at a certain time and study together. Study buddies allow for mutual support, encouragement, and accountability. Some libraries have group study spaces and there are also plenty of spaces on the various academic sites and also the Cambridge SU lounge.

If you prefer to study quietly, surrounded by others, in addition to the College and Faculty libraries as well as the Cambridge City Library, here is a link to quiet study spaces within the College: Quiet Study Space – InTHnet (


Managing anxiety resources and information

The Mental health Foundation’s Guide to Coping with Anxiety provides information on breathing techniques, challenging our thoughts, keeping a diary and much more!

Getting through exams

The Student Advice Service’s Guide to getting through Exams provides Cambridge-specific information about what to in certain circumstances as well as providing some tips on how keep your stress levels manageable.

Student Minds provide some useful tips and information on managing exam stress, including getting organised, keeping things in perspective, and getting some good habits.

Study skills resources and information

Some of the study skills information below is discipline specific while others are more general.

The University’s Unlocking Libraries provides study skills information, including guides on Self-Directed Learning, critical reading, note making, academic writing, and referencing.

Undergraduate, Master’s and PhD students, might all benefit from a refresher from The CamGuides which remind us of some of the more basic study and research skills that are useful to have