The main reason I started #TTM was to share with people that, more times than not, we’re all going through the same thing but just don’t know it.
Whether that’s mental health issues, financial problems, career or academic troubles, a lot of us have been through it or currently going through it. The only issue is we tend to face our problems in isolation rather than reaching out for help. One thing I’ve learnt is that the more open you, with the right people, the easier it can be to solve the issue.
Throughout my undergraduate and LPC (Legal Practice Course) degrees I was going through so many different issues and problems that affected my wellbeing and academic studies. I felt alone and trapped in the problem… why?, because I didn’t ask for help and didn’t know how to, to the point that it was almost too late.
It wasn’t until after my 2nd year university exams, where I near enough failed, that a lecturer noticed that I was struggling so was able to refer me to 2 teachers (1 academic support and 1 mentor) who could possibly turn my situation around. At this point it was literally sink or swim. Thankfully, I was able to pull through in my final year of university by seeing these two teachers on a weekly basis to help me refocus, relearn and stay calm in the midst of it all.
Below are a couple pointers that helped me overcome the difficulties of university life.
Ask for help
University is one of the most difficult life experiences for a number of people. You’re in a new environment surrounded by hundreds of other students yet can still feel lonely and isolated. Time goes by so quickly and you can quickly lose focus and become overwhelmed. Reading that seven Bristol University students have committed suicide in the last 18 months is heart breaking. Please know that there are many avenues available to seek help, you just have to ask.
Speak to someone you can trust! Whether that is a friend, family member, teacher/lecturer or a specialist, ask for help on what you’re dealing with. The issue may not be fixed immediately but you’ll at least be on the right path to overcome it. It’ll also not only relieve the pressure from your own chest but whoever you speak to could have the solutions you need. I wish I knew this earlier on as each time I’ve spoken to someone they’ve always been able to help and direct my focus, which I’m forever grateful to them for it.
Take time out
When you’re going through troubling times you tend to focus on that issue and constantly replay it in your mind 24/7, creating that snowball effect which constantly adds to the pressure. I’m also prone to being in my own head rather than occupying myself and being proactive and present.
Sometimes it’s best to let go and do something else. I have a number of things that I like to do when I’m feeling the pressure or need to let off steam. At university, in the midst of my academic issues and reform, to reduce the pressure, I’d go out with one of my best friends who would always be able to pick up my spirits. We’d have a good time, get back on the books then go to the gym and get these gainz! The ability to work hard and smart, have a social life and be able to focus on academic work was what allowed me to graduate from university because I finally had the balance.
I’m not saying to pick a vice that is destructive but do something that allows you to channel your attention elsewhere, so that you’re able to take time away from what you’re facing and come back to it with a fresh mind. Now I go to concerts, try new restaurants, travel, eat out, meet new people, snack, go to talks and events… all whilst eating.
Even though this post was university focused, it can be applied to your career, relationships and more. Speak out, seek help and do something that makes you genuinely happy.
Comment below on what you do to let off steam and how it benefits you.
If you ever need help or someone to speak to contact Mind at 0300 123 3393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org