Something worth thinking about…

Student quote of the day – ‘I still find it weird that we can make buildings so big’

With the coming of May comes the reintroduction of frantic exam revision and the with that, the  homecoming of hellish exam stress. As a result I felt it would be a good time to breach rather sensitive topic of mental health, particularly that of students in university. Whilst I am not a professional in the slightest and would never claim to be one in this subject, it is a topic of extreme importance that I’ve only now begun to understand and see more clearly in everyday interactions within student life.

At this time of year there seems to be a mounting of pressure, a building of an invisible weight on the shoulders of students facing the prospect of months of hard work failing to get them that magic 70% mark. With that can come serious consequences: stories often circulate of students breaking down in tears whilst in exam halls, dropping out of university altogether as they are unable to handle the pressure of the situation and going to drastic, health impacting lengths to maximise studying. Pressure. It’s tough.  Furthermore it’s the accumulation of all of life’s challenges that seem to impact students most at this time; once the negative attitude sets in nothing seems to go right anymore.

This situation can quickly spiral until the individual finds themselves in a position they never would have imagined themselves to be in before. So, before the situation deteriorates too much to solve quickly, tackle the issue!

This may seem like quite an obvious thing to do but certainly in my experience, it’s easier said than done. Particularly as a first year student, having established a group of friends (some of whom I’m very close to) it can be awkward to address difficult issues such as mental health. However I would encourage people to take issues like this very seriously indeed. Yes, everyone gets sad sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with that. However  if someone close to you is showing prolonged periods of depression, lack of sleep, reduced appetite and a general lack of concern for their studies and themselves I urge you to address the problem.

It doesn’t have to mean you force the individual to voice their concerns and doubts: in fact this would probably have more of a negative effect than a positive one. But by ensuring that the friend group stays close to the sadividual (that is, sad individual) and supports the, through this difficult period, hopefully things will begin to soon look up. Furthermore I would encourage you to spend time outside of university engaging in activities, having food and perhaps organising group study sessions. Support is key and will help everyone get through the exams safe and sound. Just make sure to look out for one another!

With that I wish happy studies to everyone awaiting exams and a wish for the summer to come quickly!

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