First Year Problems #8

Being sad at uni

Sadness is inevitable. Nobody in the history of the world has existed without getting sad at some point, but that doesn’t always seem to matter when you’re at uni. Since you’re generally well out of the way of your comfort zone, family, friends and home comforts, being sad at uni is one of the most difficult emotions to experience in these three years.

Being sad at uni will happen, and it may have already happened (or be happening right now). Even if you have a good group of friends, it doesn’t always mean you feel as if you can get through the sadness you’re experiencing. In fact, it can feel like being sad will ruin your friendships because none of them quite understand (or have any deep loyalty to you where they truly care enough to help you out) what it is you are going through.

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At this lonely time, it can seem easy to give up. But, a message from one fresh who got (and still might get) a bit sad at uni: don’t give up. You have your family at the end of the phone, and you have your friends at the end of the group chat too. Reach out and speak to them. They know you of old, and they love you to pieces so much that they’ll check in to make sure you’re okay. The first step to getting over being sad at uni is to reach out to those who have always brought you comfort.

However, for some people, this might not be enough or even feel like the ‘right’ thing to do. If that’s the case, your next step should be to speak to the welfare team at your uni. Each uni has one (some are admittedly better than others), and there may even be student-run support groups who can help you out. Check uni websites and the millions of freshers’ week packs you got. There will be information in there for you.

If you’re studying at Durham University like myself, there’s help out there for you. You can contact Nightline (number on the back of your campus card), or your college pastoral team. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

Alternatively, if you don’t want uni support, there are other national mental health helplines out there:

— Samaritans: 116 123 (you don’t have to be suicidal to speak to Samaritans)

— ChildLine: 0800 111 (you can still call this if you’re 18)

— Anxiety UK: 03444 775 774 (Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 5.30pm)

— SANE: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30 to 10.30pm)

Song of the week

This is a feel-good song and it’ll make you breathe some fresh air again if you need it. Take some deep breaths and close your eyes. Your dog days will be over soon…