I went into the start of first term with high hopes. I was going to be organised! I was going to write up all of my lectures as soon as they were done! I was going to study as much as I good and get a first in second year overall! But then, pretty much everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong.
My laptop broke three days before the start of term and I was without one for almost a month. Before this, I didn’t realise quite how significantly easier it made my life, not having to trek to the library every time I needed to read lecture notes/write coursework/check my emails. Then, I got sick – both mentally and physically. I fell behind in my work, missed lectures and had to take days off to recover from everything. I cried a lot. I was very stressed (I still am). A lot of other stuff happened that made me just want to go to bed forever.
But throughout all of this, Warwick were great. My personal tutor is kind and patient and always has tissues on hand for when I cry in her office. The wellbeing team are helpful, quick to respond to emails, have a lot of practical advice and always have tissues on hand for when I cry in their office. There is a great support network at the university and there are always tissues when you cry in various offices.
There’s a lot of avenues to explore if you need some help. For me, the first port of call was my personal tutor. They will help you understand the next steps you need to take, from signing up to counselling, meeting with the wellbeing team, or getting extensions on coursework. It can seem intimidating to ask for help, especially if you’re coming from a smaller school or sixth form into this seemingly massive and anonymous institution. But there are so, so many people you can talk to if you need it.
I have used Warwick’s emailing counselling service and found it incredibly helpful to sit down and write out what I was stressed about, and not have to deal with face-to-face stuff. If you don’t want to talk directly to someone, find it helpful to write things out, or are too busy for regular appointments, this service could be really useful.
The wellbeing team, currently based in University House, are also helpful. They offered me advice on dealing with anxiety and stress, and gave help with general wellbeing. If you are struggling and just need a quick session to discuss tips and tricks to help maintain balance, they might be beneficial. They can also recommend any further steps you can take, such as talking to the counselling service at the university, if you need it.
And, a reminder – if you haven’t already, register at the university health centre or a local GP! Sometimes your body needs a bit of an MOT, as well as your mind, and the health centre have always been good to me in the past.
If you are struggling at university – with literally anything – go and speak to someone. Ask for some help. See who you need to see. Take a few days out if you need to – it’s term one. You can take a break and it won’t matter in the long run. (Shout out to my personal tutor for telling me this repeatedly until it’s ingrained!)
And hey, if, like me, the start of term one didn’t go quite as planned, don’t sweat it. At least it can’t get any worse, right?