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Agony Aunt – your mental health

As a fourth-year student, I’d like to think that over the years I’ve experienced a lot of the mental health dilemmas that many students have experienced. Maybe you’re experiencing one of these as you read this, well here’s how I would tackle the situation.

Q) I’m a first-year student and I’ve never lived away from home. I’m getting really bad home-sickness, what’s the best way to deal with it?

A) Every student gets homesick and it’s perfectly normal. You’ve lived 18+ years at home, surrounded by your parents and close family members. My go-to solution is FaceTime/video calling. Video calling once or twice a week when I’m feeling down or just fancy a catch-up with them really builds my mood back up. Being at home during the pandemic brought me extremely close to my parents so by keeping that contact up, it maintained the bond. Also, next time you visit home, make sure to bring more homely items back. Bring some photos, a blanket or childhood toy with you. It’s not as good as a hug from your mum but having something that reminds you of them in the meantime may help. 

Q) I’ve just started my course and I’ve got mixed opinions about it. How should I deal with course anxiety?

A) Well firstly I want to say that there are tonnes of on-hand services available for you to visit to help as much as possible. Your first step would be going to your personal tutor or course leader and explaining your problems. If you know that there’s a direct issue, maybe you don’t like the way a lecturer teaches or if you’re struggling with a piece of coursework, then this can be addressed with them. If you’re indecisive about whether your course is the one for you, or you’re debating another – speak to your head of school and discuss these issues. If it delves deeper, there’s always Student Services and the Wellbeing Centre with academic support available from the team. 

Q) Classes are slowly returning to in-person, but I’m too anxious to step onto campus since the pandemic. What precautions are put in place?

A) The university is well aware of the ongoing struggle with coronavirus, especially amongst students. There are a series of precautions put in by the university including;

  • One-way systems in buildings
  • Hand sanitizing facilities around campus
  • Testing being encouraged using lateral flow devices available from Student Support (Minerva building), Student Wellbeing Centre, Student Advice Centre and the University Library
  • Face coverings encouraged in close spaces

For more information on the University’s precautions, read here. For support surrounding COVID-19, you can visit Student Services’ website here.  

Q) I’m a first year student and I’m really struggling with my independence. How can I adapt?

A) Going from living at home with family cooking and cleaning for you to living in your own space with the responsibilities suddenly being flipped onto you can be quite an adjustment. Whether it’s learning to cook for the first time, or learning your way around a new city on your own – you’re not the only one. Thousands of students are in the same boat as you and you’re all learning together. Here at Student Life we have quite a few articles and videos that may be of hand:

Learning to cook:

3 Healthy and Easy Recipes

Student Cooking: Food Cupboard Edition

Cleaning:

Cleaning tips

How to keep your student accommodation clean during COVID? Tips and tricks

Getting around Lincoln:

Walking in Lincoln

10 Things to do in Lincoln