Keys to success

Taking care of yourself is essential to academic success

Studying at EPFL is like running a marathon. It’s important to take good care of your mind and your body every step of the way in order to succeed.

This means identifying your physical and emotional needs, and making sure they’re being met.

Making self-care a part of your routine can reduce stress and anxiety and help you to be more focused, organized and, ultimately, productive. By practicing self-care, you’re giving yourself the best possible chance at success and well-being in your academic career.

The self-care Wheel shows the seven interconnected components of self-care. Be sure to pay attention to each one so that you can make the most of student life. We offer resources and advice to help you achieve balance.

Two self-evaluation tools are also available. Feel free to consult them regularly!

  • Generally speaking, I feel good. I manage to complete my work, organize my time, think ahead to what I have to do next, etc.
  • I keep moving with regular physical activity.
  • I spend time hanging out with friends and just having fun.
  • I eat healthy – vegetables, fruit and protein – and at regular hours. I drink enough water and stay hydrated.
  • I get enough sleep for my personal needs. I go to bed and get up at regular hours.
  • I put reasonable limits on my consumption of alcohol, cigarettes and video games.
  • I take care of my personal hygiene every day.
  • I keep my living space (room or apartment) clean and organized.

If you answered ‘no’ to one or more of the points above, this may end up affecting your studies and your overall well-being. We recommend that you quickly seek out support to help you develop resources or strategies to improve the situation.

  • Absence from classes, seminars, practical and group work, etc.
  • Drop in the quality of work handed in.
  • Difficulty concentrating or maintaining focus.
  • Difficulty organizing your time, making plans and sticking to them. Frequent procrastination.
  • Feeling easily frustrated or irritated.
  • Often feeling anxious or stressed.
  • Feeling discouraged easily, more often and for longer than usual.
  • Changes in social habits: little or no contact with friends and family, loneliness, withdrawing into yourself, etc.
  • Appetite issues: weight gain or loss, irregular mealtimes, etc.
  • Trouble sleeping: difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, irregular sleep patterns, etc.
  • Neglecting to take care of yourself and your living space.

If one or more of the points above apply to you, and you feel that this is affecting your studies and your overall well-being, we recommend that you quickly seek out support.


Struggling? Social and psychotherapeutic counseling services are available in an individual, confidential setting.

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