How to Deal with Uncertainty

As a student I have been through a lot of phases of uncertainty. During my graduating year of college my professors went on the longest strike in Ontario college history, and during my graduating year of university the world faced a pandemic. Although my situations are anomalies, you will still likely face times of uncertainty during university. This can be anything from working with a group to complete a project to waiting for your final grades. Here are a few tips on how to cope when these phases of uncertainty arise in your university career.

1. Ensure you are using reliable and credible sources to receive information

students viewing computer in Student Learning Centre
It is always important to try to get your information from the main source. This could be from your professor, Ryerson’s website or an academic advisor.

2. Keep your focus on what you have control over

students working in groups

Focus on your role in the situation and what you can control. The outcome of everything else in the situation is not a result of your actions.

3. Be patient

stairs in the student learning centre
Uncertainty usually means a period of waiting for information. There is likely nothing you can do to speed up this process, so be patient and you will eventually receive information.

4. Distract yourself

students in ball pit
Uncertainty can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Carve out time in your schedule to do something that makes you happy and can take your mind off of the situation.

5. Think about the future

students in graduation gowns
An uncertain situation can easily consume your life, and you may feel like you can’t resume normal activities until it is resolved. I like to always put things in perspective using the “five” rule. I ask myself, will this matter in five hours? Will this matter in five days? Will this matter in five months? Will this matter in five years? By doing this I can gauge my reaction to the situation more appropriately and not let it take over my life.

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