Body pressure at university.

University is often the first time people are in a completely new area, surrounded by new people of all different races, shapes, backgrounds and life experiences, paired with looking after yourself for the first time and a stereotypical lifestyle of going out, dressing up, takeaways and drinking, it is unavoidable that this may raise questions surrounding your body and cause some weight changes that could reflect how you view yourself due to poor mental health. You may feel insecure in clothes or feel pressure to go to the gym and watch what you eat, however this will only lead to unhealthy habits that will further damage your mental health and leak into other areas of your life, like studying or enjoying hobbies.

If you do find yourself feeling this way, you could first take a look at what other pressures you’re currently under and try addressing those first. For example, with exam season approaching it may be that you are zoned in on disliking your body to distract from the deadlines that are actually causing a deterioration in your mental state and instead of hating yourself, try to focus on improving your mood through staying organised, eating well and planning out how to get through the exam period healthily.

You may also feel worse about yourself when you don’t eat nutrient-dense food or eat and drink enough water for a few days, since you’re looking after yourself it is often easier to order a takeaway, especially when busy, however this can have a long-term impact on how you view yourself, provoking feelings of guilt and potential punishment. Instead, try and focus on eating nutrient-dense food and food you enjoy cooking and eating, there are plenty of recipes on apps like Tiktok aimed with a student budget and time in mind that will improve your mentality as you continue to properly look after yourself.

It is typical to say that people only care abut themselves however it is the truth, you shouldn’t feel pressured into not wearing what you want and only following mainstream body trends to fit in, as people do not care what your body looks like or even notice if you’ve gained/lost a few pounds. University is the best time to experiment with fashion and you shouldn’t be held back by body insecurities that only you yourself see.

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