Having the time of your life at university?
University - the best days of my life! I made lots of friends in my student dorm, went to great parties, joined the debating society… and, well, I did some work too - but I must confess my lecturers were very patient with my tardiness.
It's easy to look back at our university days through rose-tinted spectacles but the truth is that when we first arrived on campus, most of us were out of our comfort zone.
In fact, a survey of students at Imperial College London has revealed that 3 out of 4 students experience high levels of stress, or a mental health condition, during their time at college. The survey, completed by over a thousand students, also found that 70% of those that experience stress do so at least once a week, and 9% of students feel stressed constantly.
Kirsty, a student at Exeter University, didn't enjoy her first days in college. She says: "When I first got to university I don't think I'd realized that I'd forgotten how to make friends. I'd been with the same school friends for seven years, and so I was trying to balance social success with academic success whilst learning how to look after myself at quite a young age."
Dr Ruth Caleb of the counselling service at Brunel University in London has some tips that should make life easier for students before they set off for university. She says: "Certain things that I think it would be very helpful for students to have put in place are an ability to do the practical things of life - to do the washing, to do the cleaning and so on - being able to cook. Budgeting is extremely important in university life." And Caleb adds: "You should learn how to spend time on your own comfortably."
I graduated and learnt how to take care of myself the hard way. I hope that new students these days remember to acquire some life skills before they make the big jump.
through rose-tinted spectacles
out of one's comfort zone
to look after oneself