By Roberta Attuquayefio
‘Record numbers of students are beginning university this term, making the big emotional step of a new independent life, with many living away from home for the first time.’ according to a September 2015 report from BBC news education correspondent Sean Coughlan.
‘But there are warnings of rising numbers of students struggling to cope with life on campus, with sharp rises in the demand for counselling… A report from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, using anonymised data, found a rapid increase in demand for counselling, with one institution seeing an annual increase of more than 50%.’
Many things go through a person’s mind as they go into their last year of university, everyone has those thoughts and it’s OK to have them. After all we’re all human.
First of all you start to think how you’re going to move all your things back home if you live away from home where your family live and near the university, then you think ‘how will I get on course wise? Will I get the grade I want or set myself to achieve?’ The last thing that goes through a final year student’s mind is ‘will I find a job straight away?’
Don’t worry, whether you believe it or not these are completely normal thoughts to have and everyone else in your shoes is guilty of having those same exact thoughts. It’s not just you!
Once you start the semester again you’ll realise that you worried for nothing and you will find the answers to all the questions you asked yourself as you go along. The final year should be easier in terms of fitting back in because you’ve done it all before two years prior, so therefore you know the drill.
This article is not focusing on mental health and the negatives of university, however it should be recognised that some students go through some form of mental health whether it’s serious or not. The first solution to the problem is to acknowledge it because the more authorities and the universities ignore it, the more it increases across more students and escalates.
Even though it’s good to keep in mind that the idea of going to university for the first time might trigger mental health issues such as depression and anxiety or even self-harm, my aim is to bring to attention to the students and the public that there is help out there. Most universities have a mental well-being building department which is there to help when the need arises. Make sure you make use of these facilities it can really help. Even if you just book a session to find out what services they offer it can really change the way you approach and handle final year.
How I personally deal with stress or worry for my final year at university is to think positively, and keep myself occupied doing things that are positive, for example gospel choir society and choral society really help me to release my tensions, yet create a great social and safe environment for me. Try and find a society to join too and hopefully being a part of these societies will help you mingle with other students and make friends who will encourage you. Yes it is easier said than done but it’s worth a try.
The main advice is whenever you feel stressed or worried about final year of university, take deep breaths in and out and try to distract yourself from it by thinking of all the positive things about university. Remember this is your final year. After this you’re never coming back. Enjoy it before you enter the working world.
Finally surround yourself with likeminded people who want the same things as you do which helps a lot. Whatever you do, don’t keep the fears in your mind!