We’ve all been there, we’ve all had those days when everything is going wrong or you’re just not functioning as you should. These days are hard wherever you are. However, being at university adds an extra layer of complication to this. Not only are you likely alienated from your support network, but university also offers other perils which can blow these issues out of proportion, be that essay deadlines or the black pit of despair and isolation otherwise known as the student bedroom.
When at university you are given a new sense of independence and responsibility and this new responsibility includes your own new territory, your student room. This is your own space and somewhere your flatmates are likely to leave you alone. However, this may be a blessing in disguise, because whenever thing is going wrong it is tempting just to haul up in your room and wallow in self petty. At home it is likely notice when you are hauled up in your room and drag back to really. While this may seem cruel at the time in the long run it’s these social interactions which will get you out of your despair. At university this is unlikely to happen, even if you have really caring housemates busy schedules mean if they don’t see you for a few days this isn’t necessarily anything radically out of the ordinary. So, how do you deal with this? It’s going to be hard, but you either have force yourself to get out and to interact or let someone know how your feeling and ask them to come check in on you. While this may seem daunting particularly when you are starting out and don’t know anyone remember that everyone else is in the same position.
Cultivating relationships with others is key to successfully dealing with personal problems of Uni as your network of friends can be a vital support network, so don’t be afraid to open up to.
Of course, sometimes you need to be alone and your student bedroom does facilitate this. In this situation you need an action plan on how you’re going to get through this as opposed to just letting your feelings simmer. For me this normally consists of watching a film which I have seen before and enjoyed. This is because it allows you to relax reducing your stress levels. Once you have finished theoretically you should be in a better frame of mind and be able to assess the situation from a new perspective. While this doesn’t always work it is a positive step and having a plan of action before entering your down time is key to ensuring you don’t end up letting the problems mount and isolating yourself.
For dealing with all kinds of problems it is key to get the right amount of sleep and students notoriously don’t. The optimum amount sleep for adults is 7-9 hours in order to achieve the correct balance of non-REM (deep) and REM (dream) sleep. Non-REM takes place in the early part of the night, therefore it is key not to go to bed too late otherwise even if you get 7-9 hours of sleep you may miss out on this vital stage where the brain is rehabilitated.
Also, for both physical and mental health, regular sleeping patterns are vital, so it may be worth skipping that big night out and get a good nights sleep if you are struggling with your personal life because a lack of sleep is just going to leave you lethargic and without the mental functions to positively process the problems you are going through.
If these self-coping mechanisms don’t work, and these personal problems persist then seek help from within the uni, the support is there.