You survived! Congrats, your first couple of weeks of uni are in the bag. The initial adrenaline rush of freshers’ week has passed and perhaps you are starting to feel a bit more settled, less of a deer in the headlights - or maybe
you are beginning to miss home a bit.
Either way, or even a mix of both, is totally normal. I remember this time two years ago - I knew I had made the right decision, that Bristol was the right place for me and I was in for a great three years. But I missed the home comforts, being able to talk to my mum whenever, my dog, even simple things that halls lack like having a lounge and a TV. As naturally quite an introverted and insecure person, there were many points that I really struggled in my first year. It is important to know that if you do feel low at any point, you are not alone - university can be really difficult and everyone struggles at some point.
I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t matter if this year isn’t the
best of your life. For me, first year was all about getting to know myself and my surroundings. It made me a lot more aware of my mental health and what affected it, my interests and what I enjoyed, knowledge that made my second and (hopefully) third year a lot more enjoyable.
When you do feel low, it is important to take care of yourself. Especially as a fresher, there is constant pressure to have the time of your life, to go out, socialise and meet new people. If you feel you need to take a breather - whether that is a night in pjs watching shitty American dramas or even a trip home - go ahead and take it. Get over your FOMO and do what is right for you.
If you do feel like you do need to reach out and get help, there are many people employed by the university to help. As reported on our front page, the university is investing £1 million into mental health services, a result of the Wellbeing Review. This is in addition to the facilities already out there, such as Big White Wall, the Student Counselling Service, Personal and Senior Tutors and Nightline. Our Wellbeing section is here to advise you about these services and provoke discussion about mental health.
You meet a lot of people during freshers’. It doesn’t matter if you don’t meet your best friends in this week. Friends are found in a multitude of ways, ways you probably haven’t even anticipated yet. Societies are a great way to meet new, likeminded people so join the ones you are interested in and put yourself out there.
There are still times I really do struggle, but my uni experience has given me the resources to nurture my wellbeing. Try to see a bad patch as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and if you feel like you need help, please reach out and take it.
Originally published in Epigram 316.
How has your Freshers' Week been? Let us know: