March 4th is University Mental Health Day! An important day for all students, as it is vital to remember that while times get tough during our studies, we must remember that we are not alone and there is always support.
We here at Mental Magazine believe that the mental health of students should be a priority. University is renowned for being the best time of our lives, but we have to remember to put ourselves first, especially our wellbeing.
The importance of balancing your mental health during university cannot be understated, at the end of the day you are the one going through a three/four-year degree, working hard and putting a lot of time and effort in. So it is okay to take a step back and take some time out for yourself.
For the past year, students have been subjected to the confines of their rooms, having classes online. The Covid-19 pandemic has created a challenge like no other before, the resilience of the 2020/21 university students shall never be forgotten.
Sam Bailey, a first-year Psychology student at the University of Brighton, is disappointed she has not been able to properly connect with her fellow students. “University is a great place to meet people that are like-minded, studying the same thing as you, I was really looking forward to getting to know people who have the same interests in the same fields I was,” said Sam Bailey.
Learning online has now become the norm for students. Aside from those who are able to access their respective campuses if they are on a practical course, most students are attending classes on their laptops. Bailey addressed the fact that this has definitely had an impact. “A lot of people are a little bit shy or reserved, there’s a lot of people who don’t turn their camera on.”
However, despite the tough times that persist alongside the challenges faced, Bailey is very happy with how her university has helped them, especially their support for the students’ mental health. “I can’t fault my university for their approach to mental health, they’ve put a lot of things in place to encourage people to take ownership of their mental health and wellbeing.”
Emily Fish, a final year Journalism student at the University of Derby, things have not been easy for her but her resilience and willpower have helped her push through. “It’s been worse, I am a perfectionist and someone who is really motivated, but over Christmas, I started to get really burnt out,” said Emily Fish.
Like countless other students, Fish was worried about her future prospects when it came to employment. Right now this is an unfortunate common theme amongst graduates from the class of 2020, which will hopefully not impact the prospects of this year’s graduates.
However, there are a few factors that have helped Fish get back into the groove of university, making her more determined than ever to finish her degree in a matter of weeks. “Moving back to uni helped, it changed my mindset. It helps that I am really organised.”
As these tough times persist it is our resolve that remains strong, we have to keep looking forward to the future and remain optimistic. It is also to remember that simply finishing your degree is a massive achievement in itself, something Fish is very excited to do. “I’ve done really well and knowing I’m near the end so just push through, being reunited with my family and home friends.”