Stress is a natural part of the human experience. In fact, stress can provide motivation and increase our performance. Psychological stress is known to suppress the immune system, making us more susceptible to illness. Stress is also associated with hypertension, heart disease, headaches, and cancer. Prolonged stress can also trigger depression, anxiety, and other psychological symptoms. It may seem that there’s nothing you can do about stress. The bills won’t stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day, and your career and family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have more control than you might think. In fact, the simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the foundation of stress management and ways to reduce stress. Managing and reducing the rate of stress is all about taking charge of your thoughts, emotions, schedule, and the way you deal with problems.
Writing under pressure and on a deadline can be a stressful experience, as deadlines loom or the workload unexpectedly increases.
The undergraduate projects are often the first major piece of independent research that a student will undertake. We are today in knowledge driven world where knowledge assets rather than physical assets and natural assets are considered more relevant in creating competitive and differential advantages. For this reason, attempts are made at micro and macro levels to increase the stock of knowledge assets as a strategic choice for increasing development at diverse levels. Early development is always a better choice, in any form of development, so as to earn the best fruit of input or labour. This means that students’ project work in their undergraduate curriculum is aimed at meeting the knowledge needs of the students, society and the world at the level and stage when the body and mind are willing and receptive to knowledge.
Undergraduate research is an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. Undergraduate project is an academic assignment (or research) undertaken by a student towards the completion of his/her academic pursuit of a first degree as stated in his first degree curriculum.
Undergraduate research projects can be designed to fit a variety of class constructs and to promote student learning at all levels of undergraduate education. It is also a task undertaken by student(s) within a given period of time in a given subject area aimed at making the student have independent capacity for inquiries and to supplement and as well complement formal teaching in his area of study. This enables the student hone-in the theoretical course work in the university. There is no doubt that the exercise will reveal to the lecturer who is assigned to supervise the student, the student’s area of strength and weaknesses. When these weaknesses are corrected during lecturer – student interaction, the student comes out to be the pride of the university – the alma mater.
Undergraduate research projects can be student or faculty initiated, and students can either participate in a work in progress or enter a project at its start. Undergraduate research is the exploration of a specific topic within a field by an undergraduate student that makes an original contribution to the discipline.
While a test or examination is an educational assessment intended to measure a test-takers knowledge, skill, aptitude, physical fitness, or classification in many other topics. The thought that you have an examination to write can create stress especially if you’ve not been preparing early enough. That is why it is important for student ton understand how to reduce stress especially when writing on a deadline.
Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional, or psychological strain. Stress is your body's response to anything that requires attention or action. Stress can also be defined as the degree to which you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope as a result of pressures that are unmanageable.
In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stresses can be external (from the environment, psychological, or social situations) or internal (illness, or from a medical procedure). Stress can initiate the "fight or flight" response, a complex reaction of neurologic and endocrinology systems.
Everyone experiences stress to some degree. The way you respond to stress, however, makes a big difference to your overall well-being. Stress can cause or influence the course of many medical conditions including psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Therefore, stress can be said to be a normal human reaction that happens to everyone. In fact, the human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. When you experience changes or challenges (stressors), your body produces physical and mental responses. That’s stress.
Stress responses help your body adjust to new situations. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert, motivated and ready to avoid danger. For example, if you have an important test coming up, a stress response might help your body work harder and stay awake longer. But stress becomes a problem when stressors continue without relief or periods of relaxation.
HOW TO REDUCED STRESS WHEN WRITING ON A DEADLINE
People experience stress as they adjust to a continually changing environment. Stress has physical and emotional effects, and pressure can create both positive and negative feelings. Positive pressure can energize you and help you reach your peak performance. Too much pressure can turn into stress. Prolonged exposure to stress can be harmful to your physical and mental wellbeing. However below are ways to reduce stress when writing on a deadline or under pressure.
1) RELAX BEFORE AND DURING EXAMINATION
Writing under pressure and on a deadline can be a stressful experience, as deadlines loom or the workload unexpectedly increases. So it’s important to relax before and during writing and examination. This can help you avoid stress and relax while writing an examination. It can also help you to achieve your writing goals more effectively.
Relaxation has several benefits when you’re writing under pressure. It clears the mid and relaxes the body. It also reduces anxiety. And just as important, relaxing helps ideas and words flow more easily.
2) AVOID PERFECTIONISM
Perfectionism might not seem to be a bad habit. However, perfection isn’t really achievable. Striving for it can eat up your time, which can just add to your stress. The notion of perfection can also lead to creative paralysis. Try as much as possible to strike a balance between the time spent and the quality achieved in your writing project. The goal shouldn’t be to produce absolutely perfect writing, rather the aim should be producing a high quality writing that fits that fits the purpose and is delivered on time. You must also understand that while high quality writing should always be the aim, striving for absolute perfection can ultimately be counterproductive. Students must aim at producing work that’s of good and high quality.
3) DO NOT EXPECT TOO MUCH
Expecting too much of yourself can be another source of stress when writing on a deadline. Often the pressure you feel when writing on a deadline is entirely self-imposed. Stay positive about the experience as writing in a high pressure environment can help you improve your writing skills. Indeed, many writers attest to producing their best work under pressure and on a deadline. So rise to the challenge of your schedule and don’t put pressure on yourself. Make sure to do the best you can.
4) BE CONFIDENT
Lacking confidence can add to your stress when working under pressure and on a deadline. You must therefore, know your strengths as a writer and be confident in them. Try as much you can to capitalize more on these strengths as you’re working. Also be aware of your weaknesses but dwell more on your area of strength.
Use what you know about your weaknesses to help you improve your grammar, your vocabulary, structuring, or anything else that you feel has room for improvement.
In conclusion, it is important that students understand that they can reduce stress even while writing on a deadline if they can simply follow the simple tips stated above. Relaxation has numerous benefits when you’re writing under pressure. It clears the mind and relaxes the body and minimizes the anxiety that can often occur when writing. Relaxing also helps ideas and words flow more easily.
Therefore, there are three stress-building behaviors students should try to avoid when writing on a deadline these are: perfectionism, expecting too much and lack of confidence. Perfectionism causes stress because it’s an unattainable goal, and trying to achieve it is time consuming and tiring. Aim for quality writing, delivered within the agreed time line. Expecting too much of yourself can make a stressful working environment intolerably worse. Stop putting pressure on yourself. Lastly, lack of confidence can undermine your ability to write under pressure. Know your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. By knowing these you can capitalize on your strengths and use what you know about your weaknesses to improve those areas.