How To Take Care Of Your Mental Health During Your Time At University

Photo by Dustin Belt on Unsplash

University is a stressful time. You’re in a new place where you don’t know anyone. You have no money, no time, no energy, and yet are expected to thrive. It’s a lot for one mind to take on before even addressing the coursework. Take a look at our tips to make sure your mind stays healthy during the simultaneous worst and best years of your life.

Make an effort to make friends

In an increasingly isolated world, it can actually be pretty hard to make friends. You’ve likely left high school behind and a lot of friends with it. And in the age of social media, it’s harder to start over. That’s right: it’s now an active requirement of mental health to go looking for friends – offline!

As cliche as it’s going to sound, you might need to get out there. The foundation of a great friendship is things in common, so join a club and get chatting. Think about what you love and see if there is some way to share it with someone. If there isn’t, start one. Now you’ve got something to be passionate about that isn’t coursework.

Find an athletic pastime

If you are thinking of looking for or starting a club, you might want to make it something that gets you moving. Even better, if it gets you moving off campus, it’s best. You’ll get the comradery, yes, but you’ll also get the double benefit of the endorphins of exercising and the healing power of nature.

But take time for yourself when you need to

Even if you are making moves to get out there, make sure to take time to yourself if you have to. You don’t need an excuse. If you don’t feel like it today, say that, and tell whoever you’re canceling on that you will set another day to see them. If they’re a decent friend they’ll understand/will probably be grateful.

Consider online therapy

If you’re really worried about the state of your mind, you can look into online therapy. You can get online therapy with insurance and it will be more affordable than the traditional face-to-face sessions. Not to mention it will slot nicely in between classes and study without the need for a commute.

But there are also a lot of resources available to you at your university. There’s no harm in asking what is available and if you can get some support. And don’t go thinking “It’s not gotten to that yet”. You should act as quickly as possible to avoid worsening symptoms.

Avoid burnout

Burnout is a very real issue at university. You will be working harder than you ever have. You thought high school was tough? You’ll wish you could sum up your thoughts on a book in only a page or two. And you’ll curse whoever came up with the Harvard citing system. Every lecturer thinks the grammar is different.

That’s enough for some to need a chat with a therapist. Take it seriously. If you feel you’re struggling, you can talk to someone. Notice if you’re not sleeping, you’re constantly worrying about your coursework, or anything else in your life feels like a weight that makes you avoid your coursework. You’re on the road to burnout and you need a break. 

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