University Not What You Expected? Don't Worry – Read This
Feeling disheartened by the realities of uni life? You’re not alone. To help you banish the post-Christmas January blues, we’ve put together a list of common problems you might be facing, as well as some practical tips and advice to help you overcome them.
Sometimes, university can feel like a delicate balancing act that you can never quite get the hang of. With deadlines to meet, friendships to make, and oh *so many* early morning lectures to get to (why so many, though?), it’s all too easy to get knocked down by a massive cloud of overwhelm.
Starting university can be a stressful experience, no matter your age or the course you’re on. If the pressure is getting to you, don’t be afraid to take a step back and ask for help. Your lecturers, along with your university’s Student Services team, will be able to help you find ways to balance your workload and take the pressure off if things are getting a bit too much for you.
There are also plenty of fantastic resources available online. Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity, offers loads of great tips and resources to help students empower themselves and others to overcome the challenges of student life. We’re also proud to work closely with Mind, the mental health charity that believes no-one should have to face a mental health problem alone, to help bring information and support to students when they need it most.
Home Is Where Your Heart Is
One of the most common problems you can face as a student is homesickness. And let’s face it, feeling homesick sucks. Whether you’re five miles away from home or 5,000 miles away from home, one fact remains – you’re not AT HOME. But there are ways to get through it.
When it comes to feeling homesick, the first few weeks and months at uni are the most brutal, but things do get better – we promise you. As you begin to make friends and get to know your surroundings, you’ll find that your heart aches less for the comforts of home.
Until then, make the most of your university’s free Wi-Fi, and schedule regular video chats and calls with your loved ones back home. You might not be able to be there in person, but sometimes just seeing your best friend’s friendly face can be all the encouragement you need to stay positive and motivated.
Feelings of Isolation
Despite what Hollywood films and glossy course brochures suggest, no-one walks onto a university campus and makes a solid group of friends instantly. It takes time. As a result, feelings of isolation and loneliness amongst students are common, especially during the first few months.
There are many reasons why you might struggle to connect and make friends at uni. Perhaps your flatmates have different interests or you’re not comfortable in social situations. Whatever the reason, if you’re finding it hard to make friends, we can promise you this: you’re not the only one.
Give loneliness and isolation the boot by pushing yourself to explore beyond your comfort zone. Get a list of the clubs, sports teams and societies at your university that you’re interested in joining and challenge yourself to attend a meeting. If you struggle with social anxiety, joining the group online and interacting via social media first can be a great way to get to know people involved and ease the anxiety involved in meeting people for the first time.
Don’t forget: Our amazing common rooms are great places to chill out and get to know your neighbours.
Many students find themselves struggling to cover all of their expenses and have to search for part-time jobs to make ends meet. Unfortunately, finding a job that works well around your class schedule isn’t always easy and can feel a little like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Luckily, many universities are sympathetic to this problem and the majority offer a range of student-friendly jobs on campus. From shelf-stacking duties in the library to bar work in the Student Union, you’re likely to find a wide range of jobs available. Visit your Student Union to find out what kinds of vacancies might be suitable for you.
Want to make your hard-earned money go further? Take a look at these great money-saving life hacks every student needs to know about.
You Can’t Get No Sleep
Ahhhh. Sleep. That mythical creature that vanishes without a trace whenever you need it most.
It’s no wonder that uni students are constantly knackered. Often, class schedules are all over the place. Some days lectures start at 8am; other days you don’t need to be in until 4pm. Irregular timetables (as well as late nights in the Student Union) lead to irregular sleeping patterns. The result? Your body clock goes haywire and you end up working all night and sleeping all day.
If this routine sound familiar, shame on you – just joking, we feel your pain. It can be hard to get into a regular sleeping routine, but it’s well worth it. Poor sleep can lead to all sorts of unwanted side effects, including anxiety, depression and psychosis.
How Is Your First Year of Uni Going?
Can you relate to any of the problems above? No matter what problems you might be going through, always know that there’s plenty of support available to you.
We’d love to hear about how you’re finding uni life. Let us know on Facebook or send us a tweet @comelivewithus. Don’t forget that our friendly site teams are always around for a chat too if you need us. We won’t bite, come and say hello!