Emotional Wellbeing at University
Exams, moving home, social pressure... University can be an overwhelming experience at times. But what support is out there when things get tough?
Use student support
Every university offers access to a support service to assist students with their emotional wellbeing, whether it be personal, academic, financial or other reasons. It is estimated between 5-10% of students per university use the counselling services on offer. Walk-in sessions, face-to-face or telephone professional counselling, or referrals to extended services are available, all of which are free and confidential.
Speak to a tutor
It is very common for mental health difficulties to intrude on academic progress whilst at university. If you are experiencing struggle, talk to your Student Support team and speak to your academics, explaining your absence from class or if would like to apply for extenuating circumstances on assignments. This will make them aware of your circumstances at present.
You may want to submit an Extenuating Circumstances form – this makes allowances for students who have illness or circumstances that impact the student’s ability to perform to the best of their ability in their assignments or exams. You can usually
obtain this form from your Student Services centre but may require medical confirmation from your GP.
Talk to others
Although they may not be trained professionals, close friends and family can sometimes be the best aid to emotional wellbeing. Putting on a brave face and battling things alone isn’t always the best idea, and letting those around you know how you feel provides the opportunity for them to support you where necessary.
Look after yourself
The stereotype of uni is a student surviving on Pot Noodle and alcohol whilst sleeping all day. This is clearly not the case for all students, but university can encourage a lack of structure in your daily life. By eating healthy and regular meals, developing a structured routine and sleeping well, your physical wellbeing can contribute to better emotional functioning.
Not feeling 100% all the time is perfectly okay – it’s human. So, if you’re feeling emotionally unstable or down, just remember you are not alone — almost everyone experiences mental health difficulties in their life. Don’t push yourself if you’re having a bad day — another party or day out will come around and, with the right support, you will feel healthier.