Welcome to Reggie Responds, Roar’s advice column! Our columnists are here to provide you helpful, or maybe not so helpful, advice. Tune in on Fridays to see what they have to say about your problems. 

Q: Currently attempting to keep up with college work, everything is just piling up and up, and I truly can’t be bothered. I’m really stressed about everything going on with exams and coronavirus.

Nikita: Hmm, falling back on work because you’re stressed out and overwhelmed, but you’re too overwhelmed to actually be productive? Welcome to uni life, and no, it does not get better.

I kid, of course. I’m sure telling you that it gets less overwhelming as time passes would be helpful, but seeing as I am in the exact same situation right now, I apologise for not being a beacon of hope in your sea of despair. Am I being overdramatic to cover up the fact that I am writing this at 3 am? Maybe. But I digress. I don’t really have any advice which differs from the cliché – talk to your lecturers and personal tutors about your workload, try to manage your time in a better manner, be more organised with your assignments and their deadlines, and try to not get inundated with news headlines.

Ooh, but here’s one not-so-overused piece of advice. I read something about neuromuscular tension for my AKC lecture the other day – yes, I still do AKC— which linked muscle tension with stress. In simpler terms, we carry tension in our muscles without even realising that this adds to our stress, so in order to be relaxed, you have to actively relax your muscles (face, shoulder muscles, etc.). So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, roll back your shoulders and stretch a little, loosen up a bit.

I don’t know if this has been helpful at all, but I sincerely hope you take comfort in the fact that you’re not the only one stuck in this seemingly never-ending influx of assignments. Just hang in there and hope it gets better, I guess?

Q: My university lecturer pretty much bullies me in lessons when he knows it upsets me. I’m meant to talk to my personal tutor, but that’s him – what should I do?

Matthew: Obviously, if this is a serious issue, take it up with somebody other than him. Every member of staff somewhat has a duty of care over you, and I can certainly vouch for the fact that all King’s tutors, lecturers and professors are kind people, and so you would be doing no harm in raising it with one of his colleagues. It will all be dealt with professionally, and I’m sure he will respectfully learn to tone it down.

An alternative suggestion, and potentially a more apt one I would make, is this: bully him back. Give him a taste of his own medicine, show him resilience, and think up some witty remarks that’ll shock him into treating you differently (I’m somewhat joking). In reality, I believe he’s probably a little misunderstood. If the ‘bullying’ is a humorous thing, he probably just has a warped sense of humour. If it’s more passive aggressive and strict, then he is probably over-committed to working you hard. I’m sure he isn’t a bad person. If this were me, I would approach him via email or an office hour, and explain that something isn’t clicking, and his teaching methods are making you a little uncomfortable. If he’s confident enough to ‘bully’ a student, whether playfully or not, he will be able to take constructive criticism. If you can deal with this together, you’ll hopefully come out the other side of it with a good relationship, which can only benefit your grades, and his future students, too.

Due to the large number of questions we receive, we won’t be able to respond to every single one of them, but we hope you’ll still manage to find the answers you’re looking for, or at the very least to have a good read!

If you want to submit a question, you can do so here.

Matthew Seaman

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