Keeping well and getting help: advice from current students

University can be one of the best times in your life – and it can also have its share of challenges. So how do you maintain your wellbeing at university, and where should you go to get help when you’re struggling? Our students share what’s worked for them.

“The first thing that I always do is reach out to my friends. You may find out that they’re also having a hard time, and the first step is just to talk about it. As difficult as that may seem in the moment, nothing’s going to change if you don’t take that first step and talk. Also, talk to your academic advisor and tell them that you’re struggling. Maybe that’s a little chat over a cup of coffee. There is also the dedicated wellbeing support team on campus. My top tip, 100%, is just talk to someone.”

Olivia Keers, Chemistry

“Find friends who have common interests with you, like sports – achieving common goals with them is very useful. Going to the gym, or out on walks and making the most of the countryside here has helped me a lot. If you ever find yourself in a rut, just try something new, especially a sport. Go for a taster session, and I doubt you’ll regret it. Try to get as much help from lecturers as you need – they’re always there and give very good pastoral advice if you need it.”

Matthew Howes, Biomedical Engineering

“If you’re a little stressed, don’t isolate yourself. Give yourself that room to breathe, have a movie night with your friends, or a night out. You’re allowed to enjoy the uni experience and Kent offers that in so many different ways. If you’re having more serious problems, the University is very proactive in helping. I have friends who have used the wellbeing service. Having that on-campus support, with scheduled meetings where they could talk about what they were going through, was very helpful. Also, if you’re having a difficult time, make sure your school knows what’s happening, they are very understanding.”

Prudence Chikaka, Multimedia Technology and Design

“Being in a society is always a really good way to de-stress. It’s also going out with friends, even if it’s just going up to someone’s flat and hanging out with them for a couple of hours. I really like going the nature reserve near here, it’s a nice place to walk around. Doing exercise and something different from your course is always a good thing.”

Catriona Eade, Digital Arts

“Be prepared to ask for help. A lot of the time, the thing that you’re worrying about probably isn’t as big as you think it is, or other people are actually worrying about it too, and you can get help with it. In general, I feel like Kent is making the right moves to ensure this is a good place for students to live – there’s the wellbeing service, campus security are around 24/7 and the sports centre is really good, encouraging people to get fit and be more active. We are here to study but mental health is really important as well.”

Ayo Rajitola, Computer Systems Engineering