The benefits of going home


Marina Afzal-Khan, Online Wellbeing Editor

Online Wellbeing Editor Marina Afzal-Khan discusses how going home or simply leaving the university bubble for a few days can have a positive effect on your mental health.

It is well-known that University can feel like your whole life. It can become a bubble around you where everything you do revolves around ‘uni life.’ Being able to escape the University sphere every once in a while is not a weakness and it does not mean you are running away, you are taking a break. It is a chance for you to step back from the pressures, the workload and the intense socializing to be with your family or close ones outside of university to get that necessary space.

I struggled with the concept of going home for a few days because I thought I was running away, that I could not handle things on my own as an adult, because ultimately I would miss out on things in Bristol. Then I realized that in reality, coming home, simply stepping out of Bristol and into another environment felt like a breath of fresh air I had needed and it immediately uplifted my mood. This is because I was getting trapped in that sphere, and began to feel like University consumed me and I wasn’t on top form with any of my tasks. Now I am aware that I can go back to Bristol after a short break or a short weekend and be ready to conquer the next week. It is not a weakness; you are looking after yourself. Your mental health takes priority over university.

Image / Marina Afzal-Khan

The fact is, when things take a turn for the worst and you are unable to eat or look after yourself effectively, it’s okay to say you need time to get back on your feet! Of course there might be FOMO - ‘fear of missing out’ - that you feel because you aren’t in Bristol, hanging out with your uni friends and attending your classes but it’s better to be doing those things with a clearer and stronger mind. Taking space from an environment that can get very intense, especially at this time of the year with exams and deadlines issued, taking a few days for yourself can revitalize you and allow you to get that focus back.

It's okay to say you need time to get back on your feet!

You have to realise that university is not your whole world. Therefore, when you are drowning in all the work and social interaction, it doesn't have to be that way. You can take time off and everything will be there waiting for you to return at your own pace.

Being able to speak to a family member or a friend from home can allow you to put things into perspective because they can talk to you from outside the uni bubble. Whether you appreciate some home cooked food, play with your pet, spend time with siblings or have some time alone but out of uni, it can do wonders to your mental health. Life these days is hectic, and we all need a break from the stresses and challenges that university can bring about. Going back home allows you to get away from everything university related and tune into yourself and your own headspace. If you feel like you need the break, take it, honestly it can feel like such a relief.

Featured Image: Unsplash / Brian Babb

How often do you actually take a break from university? Comment below or get in touch!

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Marina Afzal-Khan

2018/19 Online Wellbeing Editor | Third Year Law Student