Elena's Blog: Coping at University
For many students, especially first year students, it seems very difficult to adapt to the new lifestyle (which would be most likely away from home). Trying to adjust to a new environment, where students have to care for themselves all on their own can be strenuous, while being away from their families and childhood friends and meeting new people for some may be a challenge. The new academic level can also be very frustrating and difficult to cope with.
All the aforementioned issues may affect students to a level where they may feel they are experiencing the university as a minefield, with result to cause student’s to reach a different level of psychological issues, such as stress, depression, insomnia and more. There are ways to cope, but when not able to, it is good to reach out to other people for help. Many universities, and in particular QMU, has a department in which you can arrange a confidential appointment for counselling, but it may take a few weeks before the first meeting. If so, the Student Union is always happy to help and discuss issues that may concern student life on or off campus. However, the counsellor will help the student find coping mechanisms to keep them afloat, while keeping them on the track in regards to their course.
Generally, it is good to try and maintain a healthy and athletic lifestyle, as, even 10 minutes of exercise per day can help improve the general mood. Nevertheless, it is imperative to seek for help immediately after noticing a change of mood to the worse.
As many, I too, suffer from depression and insomnia, and I understand the feeling of suffocating because you don’t speak to anyone. Even more so, I can understand how easy it is to say to your lecturers when you miss class, you are ill with fever or some other physical illness, rather, explain how you feel there is no point to get out of bed and doing so has nothing to offer. Don’t let that feeling consume you though. Try to speak to family and friends, or if it is less uncomfortable, try finding people that are willing to lend an ear who also go through similar problems.
Pursue your hobbies, interests, hopes and dreams. Force yourself out of bed, get dressed and take a 10 minute walk around campus. Maybe then you will see a difference and feel more productive. But, never ever let it dominate your life.
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