Friday, 17 January 2014

The Sun Doesn't Shine For Students Everyday

Evening my lavs. Sorry I'm running out of original ways to open up a blog post and quite frankly I think you guys might feel that to. I've been super duper busy and when I get a spare second I'm exhausted and tend to use it for sleeping. However I don't want that to get in the way of my love for blogging. This post is dedicated to all the students in the world. Whether your first year, second year, third year, postgrad or whatever (man if you're beyond that, grow up! As much you like it, you can't be a student forever). This is quite a SRS BSNS (Serious Business) post for a student blog. So listen up.

It's January and it's cold. It's grey and it's pretty darn soul sucking. January is a hard month for everyone but I'd say it's a bloody hard month for students. The novelty of uni has quickly worn off and your thrust back into your damp, smelly student squalor after 3/4 long festive family and friend filled weeks at home. There's no spark left in your cracker let's put it that way. What most people don't realise when they come to uni is it can be some of the loneliest times of your life. Homesickness/stress/social life issues can all pile on hard and knock you off your feet. You're tired, sad and in need of a hug but all you can do is sit in your bedroom and feel sorry for yourself. You feel like the whole rest of the student population is having fun and you don't want to burden them with your problems. You are most definitely not alone!

I wanted to write this post because the issues raised are so much more common then you think. I have had some real unhappy terms at uni and I have been too scared to call a friend because according to Facebook they're out all the time having fun with their new uni friends. I didn't want to call home in fear of it making myself more homesick or causing my parents to worry. I didn't want to tell my flatmates because I didn't think they'd understand/ would think I was being silly. However when I have bought these feelings up (eventually) with friends at home and at uni I realised nearly everyone has gone or is going through this at some point. Whether it was stress related, homesickness or problems within their living situation such as arguments over housing decisions for the next year, everyone has at some point experiences this. Here is my advice from my experiences:

  • Stress - Every students favourite word. Not. University just love to pile on the workload with a side order of workload on a platter with a workload on top. And just when you think you couldn't be dealing with anymore, you get more. It can get to the point when you feel like your drowning. Stop right there. Take a breather. Get organised. I recommend buying a planner and writing everything out and planning when you're going to do it. Having it down on paper in a set plan removes the chaos within your head and allows you to breathe. Plan each day as it comes and give yourself weekly targets. Also plan a day of fun. You can't work 7 days a week 365 days a year. Everyone needs to breathe.  
    • If you're struggling with work don't be afraid to talk to your lecturers/tutors/seminar tutors. If I have a problem I normally email with my problem or request a meeting. Honestly, they wont bite!

  • Homesickness - Everyone gets homesick at some point. The worst thing you can do is isolate yourself. Call home and have a chat with your mum or dad. Hearing their voice will soothe you. If you can, go home for a weekend and leave your troubles behind. If you're feeling down go and talk to your flatmates/housemates/friends. They will probably be feeling the same so you can both cry on each other, hug each other then eat your body weight in junk food and watch some good TV. The ultimate bad feeling cure!

  • Living troubles - This I found was the worst for me. In first year there was a major divide in the flat with the other side being particularly nasty to us. A lot of the 'nasty' was targeted at me and I was experiencing daily nasty comments and pranks such as knocking on my door late at night and running away. When there are issues within your living situation it can really feel like you're trapped. I'm not a confrontational person so I couldn't face standing up to those around me. If you are experiencing a tense living situation I recommend talking to someone outside of the flat, whether it's staying at friends for a night or two or spending the day out with someone else. Removing yourself from the situation can soothe your worries and give time for the tension to slowly simmer down. If you can, try and talk out the issues with your flat, it may help clear things up. If you're facing conditions where you really can't see the end and it is effecting you on a daily basis, talk to your uni. They can direct you to the right solution and help you through it. People often take their insecurities out on others without realizing it. Don't be somebody's insecurity punch bag, you're better then that.
Everyone's university experience is different but at some point everyone faces trouble and it is more common then everyone thinks. People often feel they can't tell others as it appears on the outside everyone else is doing fine. Don't let first impressions fool you. 

Uni is so much fun but it isn't always and when it is bad it can really throw you. Don't suffer in silence, talk to a friend, family and your uni.Your uni will have student support you can turn to, you're not in this alone. Your happiness isn't worth the sacrifice for your silence.

Once you get past those January blues, get excited for February as February is filled with PANCAKES. Fatty like that ;)

L.Bel xoxo

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