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#TimeToTalk about mental health at university

05/02/2016
Firstly, let me say when I'm in a good state of mind, I bloody love university. I love my subject (there's literally a Latin word for 'fuck you in the mouth', what's not to love?), I love learning, I love the opportunities it gives me and most of all, I love ordering a huge hungover dominoes at 11 am without fear of judgement. 

It's a glorious adult sixth form where you get to live with your mates and don't have to deal with wise-cracks from your mum when you stumble in drunk at 5 in the morning and set off the house alarm. Generally, I dig it. But it certainly isn't the easiest thing in the world. In fact, it can be a momentous nightmare if you struggle with any sort of mental health issue, as I've unfortunately come to discover.
  • Because of mental health I've nearly dropped out of university countless times.
  • Because of mental health I've cried in front of my dissertation supervisor because I just don't know how to please her.
  • Because of mental health, I've begun to hate a subject that I adore because worries about grades predominate any enjoyment.
  • Because of mental health, I've made terrible decisions completely out of my nature (this one actually ruined my first year of university).
  • Because of mental health I've dabbled in sleeping pills (to no avail) to help me escape sleepless nights paralysed with anxiety.
  • Because of mental health I've increasingly turned to alcohol as a way to relax.
  • Because of mental health, I spend my student loan on things that I think will make me happy but leave me crying, panicked over my finances.
  • Because of mental health I worry my housemates think I'm pathetic and secretly hate me.
  • Because of mental health even the most constructive of essay feedback feels like a personal attack.
  • Because of mental health even the most constructive of essay feedback feels like a validation of my biggest fear: that I'm just not good enough to succeed.
That list is not exhaustive; some days I'll think of a thousand other things  to be anxious about, some days maybe only one or two. The point is, that there is never one single day that one of these thoughts hasn't crossed my mind. My mental health is a concious, ever-present presence in my life that I can never escape. However, having met people online, and through my work with Student Minds, I know that I am not alone and that is paramount to how I cope with my anxiety.

Mental Health is on the rise amongst students and this should be taken seriously. I know there are many conerns that talking about their mental state may impact key student issues such as future careers or friendship groups, but that should not be the case. We need to end this mental health stigma because, you know what, it's actually ok not to be ok all the time. It's #TimeToTalk.

1 comment

  1. I enjoy reading your posts on mental health, I feel like I can relate. I love how you set this post out, it made me get goosebumps, I'm so sorry you have to endure these problems and worries. I'm in my first year of uni and I have these same thoughts constantly, I have fears and worries about every little thing that happens in my life, I'm fed up with it. I hope things can one day get better for you, no one should have to live like this. Mental health definitely needs more awareness, and it needs to be taken seriously, people suffering shouldn't have to feel embarrassed or worried about opening up about their problems, sadly many people do, including myself, it's time to talk!! x
    Becky Shannon xx - Life-by-Becky

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