As a passionate Residence Life Manager, Tom finds it important to talk about student wellbeing. Have a listen to his video above and have a read about some practical tips he came up with for both students and university staff.
Residence Life Manager at FutureLets, Coventry University
Starting university means a lot of change – moving away from home, leaving friends and family, developing your cleaning and cooking skills and manage money for the first time.
Along with these changes is pressure to have the best student experience possible (something the ResLife Team is here to help with). From my own experience, I have seen some added pressures:
The pressure to create stronger friendships than at home, which is currently made harder with face-to-face events moving to online and social distancing;
Getting the highest mark possible on your first assignment;
The transition from education to higher education;
Socially pressured to drink alcohol;
First time managing a budget;
Uploading social media pictures of you having a great time;
Homesickness and missing home comforts.
And this is not an exhaustive list!
Often this cocktail of emotions can become overwhelming. There are lots of positives that come with starting a university, and it will most likely provide you with many fantastic memories.
Help is here
There is not a one-size-fits-all guide to having a great time. However, there are some things that may maximise your enjoyment and help you make the best start possible.
Talk to people. I can almost guarantee that someone else will be feeling exactly the same as you are. They’re just waiting for someone else to say it.
Keep in contact with your family and friends back home - your pre-existing support network.
Distraction is key. When you have anxiety or unhappiness, distract yourself. Make plans, join societies, go to the gym or join an online fitness class.
It may feel like there aren’t any people to talk to, but the reality is - there are lots of people and options for support out there, although you might find some are more suitable for you, or even more easily accessible.
As I said before there is no one-size-fits-all plan to mental health or order to try things in. You can speak to your GP at your local practice, you could speak to a trained therapist, you could speak to friends, family, there are local charities such as Calm, Young Minds and many others.
Seeking and talking about your mental health is often the first and hardest step towards getting or even staying well, however, it can be hard to know how to start or where to turn to. It's usual to feel uncertain and to think whether you should try to handle things by yourself. Just remember, you’re never alone and it's ALWAYS OK to ask for help.