How are you feeling?
It’s been a few weeks now since you moved into halls and started your new life at University – how are you getting on?
"I'm doing great - thanks for asking!"
If this is your first experience of University, you may have felt a little bit daunted by the prospect before you arrived, but it’s good to know that you’ve adapted well, hopefully settled into your halls and already started to make some good friends on your course.
But whilst you may be in your element and really enjoying your time here, there may be others that are not feeling the same.
You may have fellow students living in your halls or on your course that are taking much longer to adjust to their new surroundings.
If you think that there are signs that someone may be suffering in silence, just start out by talking to them. Simply asking if someone is okay is as good a starting point as any.
Even if they choose not to elaborate, knowing that someone is there that cares about how they feel can really make a difference to someone’s mental wellbeing.
"I'm not okay..."
Firstly, it’s absolutely okay to admit that you’re not okay.
Moving to university is a huge change and it can often take a while to adjust, especially if it’s your first time living away from all your friends and family.
If you are feeling anxious, emotional or withdrawn – you probably aren’t alone. These are perfectly normal feelings for new students and although it may sound like a cliché, time is a good healer. Yes, there may be other students who have only taken a few days to get into the swing of their new routine, but for others it can take a lot longer so give yourself a chance to settle in; you shouldn’t expect a transition to a completely new way of life to just happen overnight.
Homesickness can often be overwhelming so although you might want to assert your independence, there is no shame in calling your parents on a regular basis. Even just hearing their voice can be a huge comfort.
Try and get out to meet new people too – it can be hard to do if you’re feeling lonely and anxious, but sometimes pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can really help how you feel. You may find that a lot of other people are also in the same boat so just getting past this first hurdle can help you to bond with other students who are going through the same experience.
“Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of - and neither is talking about it”
If you feel that you need to talk about how you’re feeling, then there are a number of people you can reach out to.
If you feel comfortable enough to approach them, you can ask your friends or flatmates for support - the people who are around you most often are in a good position to help and offer a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on if you need one.
However there may be times when you feel you’d like some additional support – WGU offers a free counselling service where you can talk through your problems with a trained counsellor in complete confidence.
Visit our WGU4U page for more information.