Leaving home to start university can be a daunting prospect (soooo exciting but also quite nervous at the same time).

It’s not only the thought of studying hard but also managing on your own when it comes to your health and well-being. You just didn’t realise up to this point how much your parents/carers helped you through it (or should we say badgered and cajoled you!).

At university there are lots of clubs and societies to join, parties and outings to enjoy and friends to hang out with, never mind Freshers’ week.

There just isn’t enough hours in the day to manage it all. But what happens if it all starts to get too much? How do you cope? That’s where universities shine. Their student support and pastoral care for your health and well-being are second to none.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been partying to the small hours and need help to drink responsibly, or are finding it hard to make friends and feel a bit of an outsider or even if you’re struggling with your course work or exam stress; universities have this covered. They offer first class support and it is exclusive for you as a student. 

Your health and well-being is as vital to the university as is your academic achievement. They have fantastic specialists who have dealt with every unique student experience you can think of (and some you can’t even imagine!).

They offer dedicated professional experts in all aspects of mental health, trained counsellors to guide you on any query or question you may have, and multi faith advice to support and encourage you every step of the way.

These are but a few of the services available. Whether you’re feeling low, lacking in self-belief or suffering from panic attacks please ask student support at your university for help. They are there for you, so please take advantage.

It maybe that you think you are coping ok, however a chat with a trained counsellor could help improve your well-being even more. If you can’t deal with talking to someone face to face some universities are now offering e-counselling where you can chat online or receive email advice. 

You can also take ownership of your own health and well-being, with a few small self-help measures:

  • Make sure your meningitis vaccination is up to date
  • Drink responsibly when you’re out and about during Freshers’ week and beyond
  • Look after your own sexual health, don’t leave it up to the other person 
  • Ask for help if you’re getting stressed or worried about your course or exam work. 

If you missed out on your meningitis vaccination at home before leaving for university, you can register with a GP at university and get the vaccination there as well as lots of other really useful health advice.

Living in university halls of residence or in shared accommodation means you’re in very close contact with lots of other people and these vaccinations are vital for your health and well-being.

Pastoral student support at your university will include information, advice and guidance on how you can relax, de-stress, beat the blues and build up your own confidence. It will always be 100% confidential and never noted on your university records. 

Most universities will also have self-help online books and guides as well as lots of useful resources that mean your time at university is spent having fun and studying on a great course and not becoming worried or anxious about your health and well-being. 

Your health and well-being is vitally important both to you and to your university, so make sure you explore all the opportunities available to stay in tip-top condition, both mentally and physicallly.