Starting university can be a daunting time, especially when you suffer with a mental illness. When starting university, young people are hopefully going to be setting themselves up for life with these next two,four or 6+ years so undoubtedly, most of the new students will be stressed. stress can easily be alleviated but it can also manifest into something a lot bigger.
Below are just some of the things that may help you cope, within the first few weeks!
- Talk to people. It sounds simple and almost a little bit silly to even mention, but so many people I’ve met and got to know over the past year have tried to put on a brave face and do it all alone. Speak to your family and friends from home, yes, but it’s possibly more important that you speak to your new flatmates/housemates/course friends about how you feel as they may feel the same and they are in the same predicament as you.
- Make light of it. It won’t feel so much of a burden. Most universities have a Nightline service too, which has helped me on a number of occasions. You can usually call them between the early evening and the following morning. It’s manned by a team of wonderful volunteers who will be able to listen and hopefully help you talk through some of your problems.
- Visit Student Support. At most universities, there’s a walk in counselling service during a set period every weekday with a trained professional who can offer advice and guidance. Most other unis will have something similar in place. They’re called Student Support for a reason. They will most likely be able to offer information and advice with areas like money too, and can be extremely helpful.
- try to not go home for the first month or so. By pushing yourself to last through this period you will possibly find that everything seems a little bit easier than and not as daunting as you first feel it is.
- Open up to new experiences and new people. You don’t need to go to pubs and clubs every night and feel awful the next day. It doesn’t make you any less of a person.
- Eat well. It sounds straightforward, but it will help you feel better in yourself and can help with stress, not to mention keeping your energy levels up.
- Try to attend all your lectures and seminars. It’s worth it. Apart from making your academic life easier, you’ll find other lime-minded people on your course you might make friends with, and you can face the world of university together, rather than by yourself.
- Keep going. You’re doing much better than you think you are. It’s OK to cry. It’s OK to miss home. It’s normal. You aren’t mad, stupid or unfit for university. Everyone feels the same.