People say that your time at university will be the best years of your life, but there can be unexpected lows too...
University comes with lots of highs and can be amazing, but there can also be times when being a student is really tough. There's a lot of pressure no one tells you about, and you have to balance education, finance, health and a social life- not to mention you might get homesick.
As you can see (or have been dealing with already), it isn't always easy. Everything can get on top of you and you can start to feel pretty low...
This year's World Health Day focused on depression and the #LetsTalk campaign to overcome the stigma surrounding the illness.
Depression affects a lot of people regardless of age and gender. If you're feeling down at uni, then you're not alone, as 1 in 4 students experience mental health problems. Do any of these relate to you?
- Lack of interest: declining offers from friends and family
- Unmotivated: stopped going to lectures, missing deadlines
- Lifestyle change: weight loss or gain, lack of personal hygiene, not sleeping
- Isolation: spending time alone, cancelling plans last minute
- Nervous or agitated: out of character, feeling uncomfortable in social situations
- Low self-esteem: feeling worthless, negative about self
These don't automatically determine you're depressed, but if you notice those feelings for a couple of weeks then you should seek help.
Many universities have free and confidential counselling services so you have somewhere to turn whenever you're feeling down because there are times you just need a chat and a cuppa with a friendly face!
Your phone can be useful too. You use a mixture of apps every single day so why not try some that could help with your mental health?
These are some great apps: Happier, Emoodji, Elefriends and Headspace.
Either way, don't suffer in silence! You'll be surprised how many people are feeling the same as you, and there is support for what you're going through...
No matter what people say, being a student is hard and you're under a lot of pressure. Don't be too hard on yourself and try to remain positive!
If you're worried that your unhappiness might be more serious, then there are many sources of help and support available to you:
- Samaritans Helpline is for those who are experiencing high levels of distress. Contact this 24-hour helpline on 08457 909090 or email [email protected]. If you'd prefer face-to-face support, Samaritans have many branches across the UK, click here to find the branch closest to you.
- Nightline is a confidential listening, support and practical information service open at night and run by students for students.
- Students Against Depression is a website offering advice, information, guidance, and resources to those affected by low mood, depression and suicidal thinking.