Making lots of new friends, studying a new course, and learning to stand on your own two feet are just some of the exciting challenges when attending university for the first time. But in the midst of all this excitement, Mental Health Awareness Week reminds us to take a moment and consider other challenges you may face on your university journey.

Beyond the buzz of new beginnings, there’s a quieter struggle many students face when it comes to mental wellbeing. So, as advocates of student resident wellbeing, we’re taking a moment to explore some essential tips and tricks for keeping your mental health on track throughout the year.

Here are our Top 7 Tips to Improve Your Mental Wellbeing at University

Keep a Healthy Student-Life Balance

University isn’t just about studying; it’s also about growing in independence and making friends for life. Spending long hours in the library studying can very quickly lead to burn out and fatigue. Make sure to take regular study breaks, and if you’re giving yourself the evening off, make sure to relax properly – close the laptop, hide the books, and leave the house.

Set Short Term Goals 

Thinking about the whopper of an essay due at the end of the semester, when you’ve only just begun your course, can feel very daunting. Instead, set yourself weekly and daily targets – whether it’s learning 30 new words in Italian or checking another article off your reading list. That way, you can begin chipping away at your work and begin celebrating the small win of simply completing your student to-do list. Soon, that essay that seemed daunting won’t be so anymore.

Find Your People

Making friends is very important for your mental wellbeing. Most universities offer a variety of societies to join, whether you are into netball, football, crocheting or even Harry Potter. It’s also worth subscribing to your Student Union’s event newsletter to see if there are any social scenes that you may fancy joining. Sometimes, you may need to be the person that takes the initiative to ask a course mate to grab coffee or lunch. Don’t be afraid to do so, chances are they are looking to make friends too!

Reach Out

Keeping negative thoughts and feelings bottled up is unhealthy and it’s important to know who you can reach out to. Friends and family are a great support network to turn to, but you can also look at the support services that both your university and student accommodation provide. Often, universities provide counselling support or personal tutors that can help you with academic worries and point you to other services. Many student accommodation providers, like ours at Collegiate UK, have teams that are Mental Health First Aid trained and are here to readily help you settle into student life.

Establish a Good Sleep Routine 

Lack of sleep can very much impact your mood, academic performance, and stress levels. Making sure to have around 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night is the key to setting yourself a strong framework for having a healthy mental wellbeing. So, buy some comfy pillows and open an easy-to-read book to help you fall fast asleep.

Eat Healthy

Making healthier food choices will improve both your physical and mental health. It can be quite tricky fitting in cooking for one under a busy student schedule so planning ahead and making time to meal prep is the secret to eating healthy at uni, and it can help save money too!

Take Up a New Hobby

If you find yourself with a lot of free time, then there’s the perfect opportunity to pick up a new hobby. Lots of societies at uni, such as field hockey, swimming, and football, don’t require you to have ever done the sport before. University societies are much more about socialising around doing something fun, so go ahead and join one. Maybe your university offers free cooking courses or free language courses under the ‘Languages for All’ scheme that you can participate in too. Any activity that can get you out and about will help you feel happier and more relaxed.

Collegiate UK Student Assistance Programme

At Collegiate UK, ‘we care’ is one of our most important values. That’s why we have partnered with Health Assured to provide our students with a 24-hour helpline to support them through any of life’s issues are problems. Both Health Assured and Collegiate UK are here to help with personal problems that could be affecting home life, student life, health, or general wellbeing.

We give all our residents access to the My Healthy Advantage app and Health Assured Online Portal, which offer a variety of wellbeing guides, fact sheets, webinars, four-week programmes, health checks and much more.