Hey everybody. We’re Harry and Katie AKA Nerds, Numbers and Nonsensical Natterings. We’re really excited to be writing this for Sarah, and we’re really honoured that she asked us to do this! Today, we want to talk about something that we’ve both experienced in different ways this year, and that is how your mental health can be impacted by being a student.
Being a student can be tough in a lot of ways. The stress of moving away from home, being away from your family and having to make new friends can be a lot to cope with. This year, one of us went through the first year of university, while the other was retaking Year 13. Both of these situations brought up new problems that we had to face in very different ways.
Harry: I moved halfway across the country, away from my friends, family and home town, to go to Newcastle University. It was an extremely hard change to cope with, especially in the first term. I became extremely stressed when I had to fit everything in. Socialising, cooking, studying. It was difficult. I also had a lot of conflict going on inside my head; I don’t particularly like going out, but I knew I needed to make friends somehow, and at university that is the most common way people socialise. It took me a long time to settle in, and I was lucky to have the people supporting me, who helped me until I was settled.
Katie: Resitting Year 13 was a really tough decision, I’ve written a whole post about my experience on our blog ( http://nerdsnumbersnatterings.blogspot.com/2018/06/resitting-year-13.html?q=resitting. I think the hardest thing I found while resitting was the lack of a support network of friends in school. Like the year before I had a large group of friends and we spent our dinners and breaks together which always took some of the stress away. However whilst resitting I didn’t really have this group of people, and I spent a lot of my dinners and breaks doing work, which meant that I didn’t really get a break from the school work. Also I put a lot of pressure on myself, because I knew I had to do better than the previous year and I guess this was hard for me. It was really difficult to adapt to resitting as all of my friends were going to University, but I got there eventually with the support from all of my friends and family.’
A recent YouGov survey (https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/08/09/quarter-britains-students-are-afflicted-mental-hea/) showed that 27% of all students suffer from some kind of mental health problems. That is thousands of young people, all across the country, who are in a position where they need help. A lot of schools and universities often have good support systems, although a lot of the time they don’t do enough. Especially with people starting university, a lot more could be done to make sure that no one has to suffer alone.
Tragically, 11 students from Bristol University have committed suicide in the last two years. That is a horrifying statistic. 11 students from the same university, who felt that that was their only option. 1 death should have been enough to show that something needed to change. This is clear, indisputable evidence of the problem that the education system is failing to address.
Tips for Students
– Find out what support systems your university or school has, before you might need them. Knowing that they’re there can make a huge difference.
– Make sure to speak to people about what you’re feeling. There is no shame in missing home, or feeling extremely anxious about your new environment. There will be a lot of people going through the same thing as you. Make sure to talk to them, because having someone to work through things with can help.
– Self Care is extremely important. Make sure you still do things you enjoy. Make time to chill out, and do things that relax you.
Thank you for reading. It would mean the world to us if you could go and check us out here: