Moving to university is fun and exciting, but it can also bring about a stressful period of immense change. If you experience mental health issues, then these can sometimes be made a lot worse by a new university environment. The freedom that university brings bursts the comfortable school bubble, and this freedom can be daunting, especially when you’re faced with the struggles of seeking help and managing your mental health. There is a constant pressure that university is ‘the best years of your life’ and the pressure can often be shrouded by personal anxiety, and it can leave you feeling dissatisfied. Wessex Scene have devised a number of ways to help improve your mental well being.
In a recent survey, the NUS reported that a staggering 78% of students experienced mental health issues in the last year. University can be an isolating environment, especially if you’re in halls – no matter how close you are to your flat, it’s easy to feel lonely in your room. Sometimes, all it takes is a conversation and explaining how you feel to help alleviate your problems. As hard as it may be, try reaching out to your friends, tell them how you feel and you may feel an immediate sense of relief.
As tempting as it is to recommend visiting Bournemouth beach, or the New Forest for a relaxing break from Southampton, it is not always possible with exam season on the horizon. Instead, look to Highfield for your sunny escape. Campus is a great place to improve your mental well being, especially after hours spent cooped up in the library. When the sun comes out, grab a lolly and sit by the pond with your friends for a break from revision, and soak up some summer rays – plus you get a chance to recreate that prospectus perfect photo we’ve all seen a hundred times!
Another less common way to improve your mental well being is to keep fit and active. A gym is a way to alleviate some stress, either alone or with a group of friends. If the gym isn’t your thing, then try an exercise class, walk or cycle – not only are you improving your mental wellbeing, but your physical as well, with the added bonus of relieving stress! Look out for the free exercise classes offered by Jubilee Sports during the exam period, as well as the free self-defence classes that are offered all year round.
If you’d prefer to speak to a professional about any issues you may be experience, the University Health Service is the perfect place for that. Additionally, building 37 is host to a wide range of student services, and don’t forget about Nightline, or the SUSU Advice Centre.