September 16, 2016, by Charlotte Dore
Your wellbeing at university
Starting university can be a fun and exciting time for many, with a new environment and an array of opportunities ahead. However, for a lot of us it can also be a daunting time and feel like a whirlwind. It’s important to take care of your overall wellbeing and mental health during the first week and beyond. Here are a few helpful tips that you may want to read before you start:
- It’s normal to feel home sick. Watch Amy and Laura’s vlog about coping with this here.
- It’s also normal to not want to be a stereotypical party animal. During Welcome week, there are a variety of events aimed to suit a variety of people – why not start by finding what event(s) you would like to go to before you arrive? You may want to experience a night at Ocean, or you may prefer Afternoon Tea and Cakes (or both).
- You are more than what you study and it may be useful to timetable these other elements in to your weekly timetable, or certainly recognise what other activities you could do, for the purpose of your overall well-being. It may be that you have a day / evening to do “nothing” with no pressures of work. It may be that you read a book you’ve always wanted to read, go to a new society, volunteer, or spend time with family / friends you may not have seen in a while. It’s important to give ourselves these spaces in order to refresh and recharge our batteries. Imagine working with no weekends off, we would simply burn out!
- Exercising regularly and taking care of our bodies can have a positive impact on our mental health. It may be a brisk walk around the lake, a visit to the local fruit and veg market, learning a new recipe to cook with a friend. It could be as simple as taking time to breathe deeply, drinking more water and paying attention to our posture when we sit at a desk.
- Know when to stop working. It may be tempting to carry on working until the early hours, however in the long run this may affect our sleeping patterns, attendance and our mood the next day. Making time to eat a warm, wholesome meal with a friend or watching that programme you were meaning to catch up on may seem counter-productive, however the next day it may give you more energy to focus during a challenging lecture.
What support does the University provide?
- If you are unsure of where to go, the first port of call may be the Student Advice Centre who could sign-post you to the correct place.
- Each school has a Welfare Officer, who is there to ensure that the welfare of students is taken care of. If you feel as though you are struggling, it may be helpful to contact them or the SU Welfare Officer.
- The University Counselling service may be useful if you’d like to talk about any problem you are experiencing. They offer one – to – one sessions and group workshops. This website is useful for self – help too: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/counselling/index.aspx
- Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity. Here at Nottingham, they run weekly peer support sessions as well as craft workshops and other events. Find them on Facebook: facebook.com/studentmindsuon
- Nightline is “a confidential listening and information service, run by students, for students”. Need help and advice at 3am? There are people to listen.
If there’s anything at all you take from this blog post, remember there are always people there to listen and help you no matter what situation you are in.