Leaving home for University can be one of life's most challenging experiences; not only is University demanding under normal circumstances, but studying during Covid-19 heightens those demands.
According to Ruki Heritage, the first six weeks are the ‘hardest’ for students. She explains that the busiest time for the University educational wellbeing services is around this benchmark, with many students reaching out for worries regarding financial issues and mental illness. Here at Monadd, we’ve put together a list of ways students can nurture their physical and mental health when flying the nest to University.
Caring for mind and body
It is highly important that both the mind and body are looked after when you are under a stressful situation, moving back to student life being one of those stresses. Some of the top tips that we suggest are:
Exercise: going for a long walk, doing yoga or taking a trip to the gym will not only get you moving, but will also aid in nourishing the brain cells and will release positive hormones. There are many student clubs that include these at your university!
Cook and Baking: There’s nothing better than occupying yourself by making something good to eat. The end result will leave you feeling warm and full, whilst also making your new student home smell great!
‘Me’ time: Your first weeks of University will be filled with socialising and your timetable will be filled up with fun and exciting activities. However, set some time aside for down time. Do something you love like watching your favourite show, listen to music or have a pamper session.
Writing: Diaries might not seem like a necessity, but having a place to write down your thoughts and feelings while at University is a must. Your feelings are valid and your student experiences will be something to look back on!
Spring cleaning: This might seem like the last thing on your mind, but dedicating some time to giving your student home a good clean will not only occupy your mind, but will get you moving. As humans we associate a tidy house with a tidy mind.
That's what friends (and family) are for
When you first go back to University, you might be feeling lonely but that’s not the case. The best tips we have for curing loneliness are:
Digital connections: We are in the age of technology and with a click of a button, you can be connected with your loved ones over a video chat.
Open up: Your (new) housemates are all in the same position as you, so by speaking about your feelings they might be able to help and ease your worries.
Let them in: If you have moved in with new housemates, leave your door open and visit communal areas to meet other students. Don’t hide away, it won’t help!
There are a plethora of ways to make your new student house feel like the family home:
Memories in pictures: Having pictures of your family and friends in frames or on your wall is a great way to bring love and warmth into your new student home.
Home comforts: Do you miss your old blanket or your childhood teddy? Ask a parent if they would kindly send them to you. The comforts you had in your family home will help you become comfortable in your new student place.
Get your mail to the right place: In a recent poll, 94% of people said they love to receive mail through their door (see here). Getting your mail sent to your new student address will not only make you feel uplifted, but will help you to associate positive feelings with your new home. That’s a service that Monadd can help you with!
Your mental and physical wellbeing are important, and if you feel like you are really struggling please reach out to your University wellbeing centre or contact a mental health service such as Mind.