A lot of aspects of college life can impact student’s mental health and wellbeing. Trying to balance multiple commitments whilst also finding time to make friends, have fun and enjoy the new experience can often be stressful. If you are starting college and facing potential stress due to the adjustment, here are a few helpful tips to protect your mental health and wellbeing.
The workload in college is significantly greater than that of secondary school. It often comes without the hand-holding from teachers or parents that we may have experienced before.
It has an independent learning nature in which classes are longer, often more challenging and involve independent study. Students may become stressed trying to balance the workload, get good grades and try to have a social life. In order to adapt to this new routine, make sure to stay as organised as possible:
Aside from workload, college can be stressful for other reasons. Transitioning from secondary school is a big step and can often be quite daunting for people. Here are some helpful tips to support you during this transition:
Create a space where you can work on assignments and study. Have this a dedicated quiet, interruption free zone. It is helpful to create a schedule, this will take some time to get a balance between college work and leisure activities (but always make time for leisure activities – they are just as important).
One of the best ways to combat stress is to exercise regularly. Exercise, no matter what type, can help to increase your mood, release tension and keep your body and mind healthy.
Healthy food and enough sleep are priority when trying to juggle everything in college. Although fast-food may appear to be quicker, cheaper and easier than making your own healthy meal, it is important to have a balanced diet. Similarly, making sure to get to bed at a reasonable time and to get an average of 7 hours’ sleep is vital for your health and wellbeing.
Make sure to stay connected with friends and family regularly. College provides the optimal chance to create new friendships with people who are in the same boat, so make sure to support each other. Talking with a friend can relieve any feelings of tension or stress you may be feeling.
If you find it particularly difficult to get accustomed to college life, most colleges have resources to help. The contact details of resources of various colleges are listed below.
TCD – TCD Mental Health
UCD – UCD Student Counselling
DCU – DCU Mental Health
DIT – DIT Counselling
UCC – UCC Mental Health
NUIM – NUIM Mental Health
NUIG – NUIG Counselling