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Looking after yourself

01 Oct 2019

Starting University is a big transition, and whatever your situation you’ll have challenges unique to you. We have asked our team of wellbeing advisors to draw on the ideas and coping strategies they use to help students, to put together their top five tips for emotional wellbeing:

Starting University is a big transition, and whatever your situation you’ll have challenges unique to you.

Many of you will have moved away from home for the first time and as well as adapting to a new living environment you’re missing friends and family- and getting FOMO when you see their social media updates.

For mature students, or students with children or caring responsibilities the pressure of University life will only add to the existing pressures you’re under. And for international students, or students who don’t have close families and friends to lean on for support, it’s easy to feel very isolated.

All of these feelings are completely normal, and while they might feel overwhelming, and that you’re the only one going through this, I can assure you you’re not. These are the type of issues that the Student Services team supports students with on a daily basis, 24/7, 365.

We have asked our team of wellbeing advisors to draw on the ideas and coping strategies they use to help students, to put together their top five tips for emotional wellbeing:

 

1. Help others and Take Notice

A problem shared can be a problem halved. And sometimes it can help to speak to someone with experience of helping hundreds of other students, with emotional support and practical advice.
As this video shows, the Student Services team helps with just about anything (just don’t ask us to do your washing!). You can find more resources and how to contact us on the Student Services Website, including our emergency out of hours details.
Over the years thousands of students have come to see us for a chat, a brew and a bit of help when they feel stuck. We don’t just help with work and course related things, and we don’t just help people who are in crisis – we’d much prefer you talk to us before this ever happens. In some cases we may suggest you contact the student counselling service, but you can also refer yourself.
The Oasis Faith and Spirituality Centre also has Chaplains that are available to offer spiritual support and a listening ear to students of all faiths and none – including Muslim, Christian, Humanist, Jewish, Hindu; Baha’I, Sikh, Roman Catholic and Pagan. 

2. Be Active

During times of stress or change it might be tempting to eat badly, have more drinks than usual and stay up late – especially if you’re struggling with deadlines or managing work, family and studies. But when you’re feeling this way it’s even more important to get a good 7-8 hours sleep a night, eat a healthy balanced diet, drink lots of water, and do some exercise.
Did you know that all students get a free membership to Sir Tom Finney Sport centre? The Oasis Faith and Spirituality Centre also has regular wellbeing events including weekly yoga, meditation and mindfulness classes. 

3. Connect

While social media can be a great way to connect and stay in touch, meeting likeminded people is a much better way to lift your mood if you’re feeling lonely or homesick, which many students feel at first.
The Students’ Union has over 40 Sports Clubs, 50 Societies and has regular events and volunteering opportunities. So whether you’re into cheerleading, volunteering, chess or debating, there is something for you. There is also a society for Disabled Students, LGBT+ students and societies for students of different nationalities. You can also get involved in the running of the Union by standing for election as a council rep.
If you’re based in Preston, Source Bar is a great place to meet other students in a friendly, safe and social environment and as well as great food and live music it has regular weekly events including the legendary Karaoke and Cocktails on Thursdays and Speed Quiz on Sundays. And for those based in Burnley why not check out the brand new Students’ Union that was shaped by student feedback.

4. Keep Learning

The transition to University studies can seem tough, but we have lots of support available to help you.
There’s also English language support if English isn’t your first language, and if you’re studying a foreign language and need extra help then the Worldwise Learning Centre could help you.
Find out more about the study support available on the Student Services website.

We hope that you find these tips helpful.

The Student Services Team