Do you ever feel that your mind is not truly your own? Almost as if you know that you want to experience a happy life, but your mind is simply getting in the way? We will be breaking down and discussing the most common mental difficulties of university, and the ways in which students have resolved them.
Although universities are home to thousands of students, it can feel like one of the loneliest places on the planet. No matter how many societies you join or friends you make, you can still feel isolated. In a survey, two thirds of students stated they felt emotionally lonely at least once within their first semester of university (Schifano 2022). Many students concluded that in order to stop this feeling, they had to become content with spending time alone. The majority of time spent alone is typically at night and so through learning to enjoy their own company students could begin to no longer feel extremely lonely when their friends or flatmates were not able to hang out in the evening.
According to the National Union of Students; across the UK homesickness is the one of the most common feelings experienced by university students. Moreover, it can be one of the hardest emotions to work through, due to these feelings occurring at unexpected times and places.. One of the best ways to overcome homesickness is not to try and ignore the feeling, but rather to embrace it – make university feel like home! There are countless ways this can be done, for example: decorating your room with pictures of loved ones, joining societies of people from the same home country as you, or making meals you would typically eat at home.
Remember, homesickness is extremely normal to experience and does not mean you are failing or unable to cope living alone.
Confidence and Comparison
In today’s technologically advanced world it is easy to see online posts of people having the time of their lives at university, making you feel that your experience doesn’t match up . Although easier said than done, remembering that everyone simply posts the best versions of themselves online is important. Think of all the pictures you’ve had to take to get the perfect one to post. You are not alone in only posting the perfect pictures online.
Furthermore, comparing yourself implies that if you are not doing the same as everyone else, then you are falling behind. In reality, you can not fall behind when there is no set place you are meant to be. University is not a linear experience. You do not have to have made a certain number of friends by a certain date, or have to join a set number of societies. That is the art of university; there is no singular way in which you must experience happiness here.
Many students struggle with both feeling that they do not have enough money, and that they do not know how to budget their money. At the University of Sussex, you can find countless resources to help. The university offers various jobs on campus – such as in the local Co-op or Student Union shop, or by being a part of the student panel. Furthermore, the student centre has web links dedicated solely to learning how to budget your money through helpful tools such as their online calculator, to ensure you do not overspend. Lastly, the university offers scholarships and funds to provide extra support to those that require it, this includes the Disabled Students Allowance, among others.
If you are struggling with your mental health please reach out to someone you trust, such as a friend or family member, or contact the support team at the University of Sussex. Lastly, remember that although the fight is in your brain and not physical, that does not take away how real it is.