Life at university is busy and complicated. Between maintaining a social life and keeping up with your studies, it can sometimes feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. But that means it’s all the more important to prioritise your mental health while at uni—and there are some easy steps you can take towards doing so.
Take care of yourself
Sounds obvious, but it’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of starting at uni and forget to take care of your physical wellbeing. Freshers flu is no myth; lots of students get sick after Welcome Week because they’ve been mingling with so many people and haven’t made time to eat, sleep, or stay hydrated. Make sure you’re having decent, balanced meals, especially during those crucial first weeks of uni, and remember to drink plenty of water as well. While your schedule might be packed with nights out, try to get a solid eight hours of sleep a night as regularly as possible. Your body and mind will thank you, and you’ll be able to enjoy all the excitement of the first term even more! Don’t worry about missing out on events or activities because you’re not feeling up for it. Make time for yourself and do things that make you feel comfortable and grounded.
Let’s face it, moving to uni is a daunting prospect. For first-year students, this is likely the first time you’ve left home to live on your own. But just because your family and friends back home aren’t nearby, that doesn’t mean they can’t still support you. There is absolutely no shame in reaching out and asking for help from your existing support structures. Whether this means calling your friends or family when you’re feeling lonely or even going home for the weekend if you can, don’t be afraid to reach out to them for support. Additionally, there are numerous avenues to get support through KCLSU and King’s. Check out our Wellbeing Hub for information and resources.
Don’t isolate yourself
If you’re living in halls, it’s important to make a conscious effort to reach out to others and get out of your flat regularly. A single bed in a small room has the potential to be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember that everyone else starting uni is in the same position as you, and many of them would love to chat about how they’re feeling. Talk to your flatmates, your coursemates, and everyone you meet along the way. Even if you’re not sharing your deepest thoughts and fears with them, maintaining contact with the people around you will help you feel much more connected. Or if you’re not feeling up for a chat, getting out for a walk (or taking yourself out to dinner) can help as well.
Be conscious of your alcohol consumption
Make sure that you’re mindful of how much you’re drinking and offset it by maintaining a generally healthy lifestyle. Don’t fall into a trap of feeling like you have to drink to have fun, and have a night in every once in a while to rest, relax, and recuperate!
Find activities that make you happy
Everyone who’s been to Welcome Week before will tell you that they go in with a grand plan of signing up for dozens of societies and sports clubs and end up going to maybe one or two events. That’s normal! But joining activity groups and getting involved with causes that you genuinely enjoy is a great way of keeping your mental health in check. University is stressful and having an activity to take your mind off it is massively helpful—and you’ll likely meet some great people as well.