Tips for managing your mental health at uni

Rhea Sam

Faculty: Science and Engineering
School: Computing and Information Science
Category: Computing and digital technology

4 July 2019

Ever find yourself cooped in your room because you’re too scared to meet someone new? Or maybe because you like your comforts so you’d rather not tarnish that. Social anxiety can be overwhelming, I can only imagine you having butterflies, maybe slightly nauseated. You want this new space/person to make you happy but you’re too scared.

Do you ever feel like exam season makes you stressed and dizzy, that’s your exam anxiety talking. It could be bad to the point where you blank out in the exam. That’s okay it happens to best of us. This doesn’t make you dumb or a loser, in fact it shows how much you worked but probably overworked yourself.

Do you ever feel like your heart’s beating too fast, you feel weak and every bad thing that you’ve faced is rushing back putting you on the verge of tears? That’s anxiety, sometimes it’s not obvious so you think you’re fine when you’re not. It’s not always rocking yourself back and forth it’s more to that and it can stem from any situation you have faced.

Daunting I know.

These are just a few of the many situations a student may have faced, I just want you to know every student has a different story to tell so don’t feel like you need to relate. I am talking from personal experience. I have had an amazing time at ARU, I’ve made friends for a lifetime, lost friends who I thought would be there. Did amazing in the second year but had to find my ground the first year. I have anxiety but I am also a social butterfly.

So here are some tips to keep you steady for your university years.

1. Put yourself first

This is an absolute must. I know you want to help your friends out but if you’re like me it could put you in an exhausting space after a while. Doesn’t mean you don’t help but just know when to draw the line so no one takes advantage of you.

2. Take breaks

Speaking from someone who likes to overwork herself A LOT. Breaks are needed for your body. Listen to your body. If you feel tired, rest up, find something relaxing to do such as reading or just jamming to some of your favourite music. Go put those face masks on, listen to some hozier while you shriek like me or sing beautifully if you’re gifted. Sigh. Go play some video games and tune out from this world or go kick a ball, maybe even learn self defence? As long as you’re putting yourself at ease.

3. Know when your mind needs help

If you feel like you’re constantly down, or angry or stressed out. Seek help. I cannot stress this enough. I know how long it took me to get to counselling but if you have a counsellor don’t stop seeing her/him. They can help you out when you lose control. It’s something I absolutely hate, not having control. I have been so lucky because we have a counselling and well being service at the university itself. If you ever need help they have drop in services, after hours helplines and sessions for you to go to. So feel free to try.

4. Get out of your comfort zone

Sometimes staying within your zone can put you in a horrible situation. I mean you could be out socialising but you chose to keep your own company and that could make you even more sad. You could be in a toxic situation and you refused to get help which would only harm you at the end of the day. Go get out, make friends, go places, try new things, so that you can see that there’s more to life than comfort. 

5. Stay active

This brings me to my final tip, it links back to the previous one. University is about new experiences and people. It offers so many things for each student to explore. The Students' Union offers so many societies and clubs that no student will ever feel like they don’t belong. Go show off your skills and make a new family with your passion sports or maybe join a society that you find interesting and meet a bunch of random people so completely different from you that you learn so much from them.

It’s important to have moments for yourself because time flies when you’re doing things and you’ll be exhausted after a point. Listen to your body, get help if needed. Laugh , find humour in little things, wear a big fat smile and conquer these years.

You’ve got this, so good luck!

Disclaimer

The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.