Tips if you are struggling to settle into uni during the COVID-19 pandemic
University is looking very different this year, which may create new challenges. Laura, 21, shares her tips if you're struggling to settle into uni during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting university or going back to university can be a daunting experience – the endless socialising, multiple deadlines and the homesickness can all impact your mental wellbeing (trust me, I’ve been there). So, it is very understandable if you’re struggling to settle into university, especially since all of the above factors are heightened by COVID-19. I hope that I can offer some advice if you’re finding it difficult to cope with university being different or if you’re struggling to settle in.
1) Realise that you're not alone
As a current university student myself, I have had sleepless nights about how my experience will be changed due to the current situation; however, I think it’s important to realise that every single university student is experiencing the exact same thing. We cannot control what is happening, so why should we spend so much time worrying about something that we can’t change?
I know that it’s easier said than done, but please try to understand that you are not alone and the fact that you’re still able to participate in university this year is a huge blessing – try to focus on the positives and be proud of yourself for everything that you have achieved to get you to this point.
2) Connect with other students
As previously mentioned, you are definitely not alone if you’re struggling with university; therefore, I think that it’s so important to reach out to other students to talk about how you are feeling. Social media can be a great place to connect with those in your university community. Personally, I have been able to establish friendships while carrying out my university course online, which is proof that it can be done.
It is extremely likely that everybody will be struggling, to some extent, to adapt to university being different; so, expressing your concerns to others who understand you provides a great outlet for emotions and may reassure you that your feelings are valid.
3) Don't put too much pressure on yourself
Although it is important to dedicate time to your university studies, it is important to go easy on yourself if you are struggling to keep up with the demands of your course.
I strongly advise that you speak to your university lecturers if you are struggling – it’s always best to seek support rather than suffering in silence. Also, a lot of universities offer student support in relation to mental health; therefore, it may be worth enquiring about this to gain extra support while completing your studies – again, you should never feel as though you are alone.
I hope that I have reassured you that if you’re struggling with university this year, your feelings are valid. Nobody could predict that we’d be studying within these circumstances, so you should feel so proud that you have gotten to this point as it reflects your resilience and ability to manage difficult circumstances. Remember, that you are never alone and please speak to somebody if you feel as though you’re struggling.
Author: Laura, 21
Where to get help
For more tips and advice about prioritising your mental health at uni, have a look at our page on looking after yourself at uni.