News Article

The best years of your life?

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You may have heard the phrase before, especially from family or friends who have gone to university. The idea that these years will be the “best years of your life” is a common sentiment. While this may be true for some, the reality is that everyone encounters difficult times at university, just as they do during other significant life changes. University life can be lonely, particularly if it's your first time away from home, missing your family and friends.

The pressure to make new friends can be overwhelming, and the need to balance social life, deadlines, financial independence, and living alone for the first time can be exhausting. On the other hand, if you're living at home, you might constantly hear about the excitement of living in student accommodation, making you feel like you're missing out.

It might seem like everyone else is coping well and enjoying their time, but it's essential to know that whatever you're feeling is normal and okay. Evidence supports this — according to a 2018 study:

  • One third (33%) of students surveyed felt lonely often or all the time.
  • Almost nine in ten (87.7%) students struggled with feelings of anxiety.
  • Over three quarters (75.6%) of students hid their mental health symptoms from friends.

So, if university life is making you feel overwhelmed, anxious, and unhappy, you are not alone, and it's important to understand that things can get better.

Modern university life is different from that of previous generations, largely due to the constant influx of social media posts and other means of staying connected with friends and family. While these technologies help maintain long-distance relationships, they can also make it challenging to switch off and unwind.

Much of the pressure stems from the notion that after graduation, you must immediately secure a job, marking the end of fun and flexibility. People tend to overlook the immense stress students experience and often reminisce about their university days with rose-tinted glasses, forgetting the challenging moments. Why is university seen as the final opportunity to let loose before entering the real world? Why does this imply that adventures cease once you graduate?

I am determined to challenge this narrative and make my university experience, my own. There is no single ‘right’ way to do university, and I refuse to accept that these years are the peak of my life. I hope to continue creating wonderful memories surrounded by family and friends even after graduation. Instead of viewing university as one overarching experience, I plan to embrace it moment by moment, cherishing the good times as they come.

There is a plethora of support available at King’s, and the KCLSU Wellbeing Hub is an excellent starting point. Make fure to follow @kcluwellbeing on Instagram to stay updated on their initiatives

However, the purpose of this post is not just to provide guidance but also to remind whoever is reading that they are not alone — there are people out there who understand, me being one of them!




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