Being an international student can sometimes amplify stress, but it doesn't have to be this way. Source: Eutah Mizushima/Unsplash.

University is a wonderful time to learn new things, meet new people and explore who you want to be and what you want to do… but sadly it does often come hand in hand with some level of stress.

Avoiding stress completely at university is near impossible and – especially as an international student with added anxieties from leaving your home country – it can sometimes feel hard to manage.

India’s Central Board of Secondary Education chairman Anita Karwal had some wise words of advice for students all over the country and beyond: stress is just a word, so don’t let it rule your life.

The lesson stands at all levels of study and is even something students can take with them into the workplace after they graduate.

The Hindustan Times reported Karwal wrote in an inspirational letter to Indian secondary school students:

“Marks do not define a person. So, do not permit stress, anxiety, worry, nervousness to stay longer in your being than a few moments. They are just ‘nouns’. Afterall, nouns cannot rule lives!”

She continued, borrowing a few lines from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: “It is our choices […] that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

“Choose wisely. […] Choose confidence and hard work,” Karwal wrote in her letter.

Stress is a normal and healthy part of life. With a busy timetable, seemingly never-ending assignments, the pressure to make new friends and the worries of being away from home, the feelings can be amplified.

But remember, you have a remarkable opportunity to be studying in a new country with a new culture so heed this advice and don’t let it overcome you. After all, these feelings are just words, and they will pass.

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