Uni life can be pretty difficult at times during your first year. It’s to be expected and is surprisingly okay to deal with when you have the right people to talk to. Uni life was a little bit of an extra struggle for me because of my mental health issues. I spent weeks beforehand stressing out that I would get super poorly and be so far away from home and also that no one would really get ME. Anyone with a mental health issue will tell you that people leave your lives A LOT and it scared me so much because I was afraid of being the “weird kid” again.
Those fears will continue but they get easier. I struggled for weeks about wether or not to tell my flat mates about my illness. I was worried that being in such close proximity with strangers would isolate me instantly from everybody else. It doesn’t I can promise you that now. You will find people who understand and you can tell them when you feel ready to tell them. It’s been really great for me to know someone else in the same boat that I know I can talk to when I start to feel a bit rubbish and that they will understand and listen to me.
Uni can be hard with a mental health issue but Staffs have loads of means of support! You may not know yet but you can look into the disabled students allowance first and they can help you with what you willl need when you get to university. I was suggested a student support advisor who is really lovely and I see every other week. She is like a councillor but also makes sure that everything else at uni is going okay, from my work to what I eat, even to my social life. There is loads of support at Staffs to help with disabilities and that was one of the things that really sold this university to me to begin with.
If you do have a mental health issue my huge piece of advice it two check two things at the uni you visit. 1) The Student Support team: I have been to quite a number of universities whilst I was looking around for the perfect one. I made sure it was one of the top things on my list to check the student support because I knew that would be important to me. Different universities offer different ways of support and it’s all about finding what is important to you when selecting a university. I however chose Staffs because of the diverse range of support they can offer to me.
2) Talk to the tutors or teachers for your course about what they can offer support wise. At the uni’s that I thought I would consider and I liked, I decided to talk to the tutors about my illness and how it will affect me and what they can do to support me through my degree. It also showed me what those teachers were truly like and it was really nice to get a more genuine look at teachers.
You will meet great friends who will understand and support you through your degree and you shouldn’t let your illness stop you from going to university because it will just show you how you can do it and is a great confidence boost.