Often, the anxiety stems from gradually allowing deadlines to build up, which leads to further avoidance of assignments or even attending classes at all.
Compound this with parental pressure and high expectations, depression can often begin to set in.
Many of these young men aren’t sure what they want to do with their life or if the course they are studying is even right for them. This further increases their anxiety and stress, often feeling as though they’re being left behind by their peers who seem to ‘have it all together’.
This cycle of avoidance may ease stress and anxiety in the short term but longer term, makes the anxiety and low mood even worse.
Some may begin to isolate themselves from friends or activities, escape these feelings via substance use and panic attacks aren’t uncommon.
So what to do if you’re caught in this cycle?
Firstly, it sounds cliche but you need to reach out and speak to someone!
A family member, a mate or a professional.
Most schools and tertiary institutions will have support or welfare staff you can speak to.
Secondly, put a study plan in place. This sounds boring and mundane, but many students don’t realise how beneficial this can be. Get a whiteboard or calendar and block out an hour or two each day, where you’ll focus on your studies. A study plan ensures that ‘procrastination’ time is minimal, whilst also setting start and end times of ‘study’.
If you manage your study time well, you often don’t have too spend much of your weekend studying!
Thirdly, if you’re still struggling mentally or finding it hard to adjust to the study plan, seek professional support. They will be able to assist you with further strategies, support and a plan. They can also assist you with exploring what it is you want to do course or career wise and may be able to give you some tests or assessments that give you further insight into what you’d be suited doing.