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Stress, anxiety, focus – How do you cope?

Posted on: Oct 3, 2022

We all enter university with high expectations for ourselves. But, if your heart is racing and you have sweaty palms before an exam is near, you may need to see the bigger picture. Rather than lowering the bar to avoid stress, there are ways to direct your strengths and attention to what works. 

The Getting Our S*%& Together Workshop Series will help you do just that. “The goal of the workshops is to normalize some common student struggles and to provide strategies for dealing with them,” says Keely Cronin, Vice-President of Student Life and Learning at CUE

”Many students struggle with perfectionism or find that they have a hard time maintaining focus on their studies. We want students to know that there’s nothing wrong with them, to normalize these experiences and give them tools to handle them when they arise.” – Keely 

The four workshops in the series address the following topics:

  • Managing Stress & Overwhelm 
  • Handling Failure
  • Perfectionism
  • Attention

Your student-life will go through ebbs and flows. Some days you will feel more in control than others. The Managing Stress & Overwhelm workshop provides easy and accessible strategies for handling stress. “Students don’t have a lot of control over deadlines or assignments and due dates are often all within the same week, causing a lot of stress,” Keely explains. “We focus on some strategies for planning to avoid stress as well as some ways that one can cope with it in the moment.” 

When a project flops or you feel as if you underperformed on an exam, how you respond to negative feedback is important in your success as a CUE student.  The Handling Failure workshop addresses the negative emotions around failure and how to move past them. “We discuss receiving and responding to feedback and practicing self-compassion in difficult situations,” says Keely.

Sweating the small stuff and tinkering for hours on a project that others would find complete may mean you have perfectionist tendencies. The Perfectionism workshop looks at how perfectionism can affect one’s academic work, personal life, and levels of stress. It also introduces the concept of healthy striving and how students can work towards that rather than perfectionism. 

At university, concentrated focus allows us to use our skills at their peak.The Attention workshop looks at the complexities of ‘paying attention’ and normalizes that this is difficult for many people,” Keely points out. “We discuss how attention difficulties can affect one’s academics and other areas of life as well as simple strategies to improve attention.”

We hope that by attending these workshops you will gain the perspective needed to successfully focus on the goals you set for yourself. Stress, avoidance, and rumination can all be mitigated with a mindset shift. And remember – you are not alone – many students have struggled with perfectionism and focus. If you are in the self-sabotage trap, there are ways of digging you out. 

Learn more below and  sign up

This workshop series coincides with ADHD Awareness Month and starts before World Mental Health Day (October 10th) – we are dedicated at CUE to breaking down stigma around mental health, so please join us for this opportunity to develop your skills and participate in important conversations.

All four workshops take place in the Design Thinking Space, located on the 2nd floor of the Allan Wachowich building.


Managing Stress & Overwhelm:


Handling Failure:

October 6, 10:00 am

October 13, 2:00 pm

October 19, 2:00 pm

October 27, 2:00 pm