Student life can be an amazing experience; a first time away from home, new opportunities, greater freedom, relatively little pressure and responsibility. And if all goes well, at the end of it, you have a degree, life-long friendships, and a step into the career of your choice. Who wouldn’t want to be a student?
And yet, there is increasing evidence that among students there is a high level of mental health issues; from anxiety to depression, to sleep and eating disorders. Away from home. Away from the comfortable and familiar. Away from the networks built up over nearly two decades. Life can be tough. Really tough. And if you add to this the fact that students are now leaving university with an average of £50,000 in debts, and a lack of certainty over career options and choices, it is no wonder that some are sinking under the weight.
Add into this the experiences of Covid-19. How this has affected those already at university and those preparing to attend. It’s been very different times for so many.
The answer is complex. How many students are at university because this is what they want, and how many are there because this is what is expected of them? If you’re not yet there, ask yourself if this is what you really want. Take your time. It is a momentous decision which will affect over 50 years of your life. There is, therefore, no hurry, despite what some would have you believe. And if you’re already there, seek help. Talk to people. Get support. Learn how to overcome the challenges. Take it one step at a time.
And, irrespective of where you are, build your resilience. Learn to be strong. Develop the techniques. Use the strategies. Change your processes. Because resilient people are happier, and happy people are more resilient. It all makes sense, doesn’t it?