Ups and Downs – Why stress can be a good thing


Being at University can be a difficult time for any student… assignments, going out, personal development, being away from home, money…. and a plethora of other worries. If you add juggling two full time businesses and being on placement to the equation, then life really does become a balancing act.

That’s the situation I am in at the moment. I am currently on placement as a mathematics teacher in a secondary school (which still has just over 6 weeks to run) and I am trying to run and establish my proofreading and tutoring businesses. This can be quite challenging at times and on occasions it has got too much for me. However, the fact is in life is that you have to be prepared to put the effort to get anywhere.

That has certainly been me the last few weeks… I can’t remember when I’ve had a spare moment to myself! Whether it’s been planning or teaching lessons, proofreading someone’s essay or tutoring people who range from primary school to adult level, I’ve always been doing something. However, there have been quite a few positives which have come out of this.

Firstly, I have found that because I have been pushed to my limits on a regular basis, I have discovered new things about myself and talents that I never knew that I had. For instance, having famously suffered from a lack of confidence my whole life, I finally seemed to have gained some self-belief as I’ve realised that I do have some abilities after all. People who know me on a personal and professional level have noticed the change in my attitude and demeanour. I’ve also learnt that often the only barrier to  success in life is yourself – a lot of the time things would work out if people just believed in themselves and had the mantra of saying ‘I can rather than I can’t’. In the last few weeks, I realised that believing I wasn’t good at things was really holding me back.

Sometimes a considerable amount of stress can actually be a good thing. I have been stressed out quite a lot these past few weeks but my response to this is to calm down and just to work harder. It’s almost as if stress regulates you as a person. The unease I have experienced has also led me to do some productive and really creative things. Proofreading and tutoring work came out of avenues I had never previously thought of exploring. I also realised some important things – that being a freelancer is very important to me and could be a viable full-time career path. After years of denying myself from believing in my talents, I am finally embracing them. I recently received 82 on my dissertation, which has subsequently been published in a journal. This meant that I am now guaranteed first class honours in my degree. This was a watershed moment for me and potentially a huge turning point in my life. It made me realise that the future might just be bright after all if just a few things would fall into place for me.

I’m also trying to get a job, tackle the writing industry and maybe even publish a maths book. I do have quite a lot of potential; I just need to fulfil that in the future.  At the moment, I still haven’t finished my placement, obtained Qualified Teacher Status, officially received my degree, or built up my proofreading and tutoring businesses to the degree I would like to. However, it may just be a case of ‘short term pain, long term gain’. The signs are that the future is bright. Hopefully, I might just fulfil my potential after all.


Sam has his own proofreading business. He charges from £3.00 per 1,000 words. He can help with style and content as well as grammatical and formatting issues. Sam has proofread for 6 years and has proofread pieces of work from Undergraduate to PHD level as well as editing CVs, job applications and personal statements. The business has its own Facebook page ‘Efficient Editing’ which you can contact Sam through. You can also get in touch with Sam by emailing him at Sam is currently on track for a first in his secondary maths teaching degree, where the lowest mark he has achieved is 65.