Starting university or college is a terrifying experience for everyone. It is a whole new lifestyle to what you’re used to in school, and dealing with that many changes in your life can be daunting. Moving away from home, making new friends, developing independence, starting a new course, managing your studies while balancing a social life, money and finance troubles, homesickness – there’s a lot on your plate this year, and it’s not uncommon to feel buried beneath all of this.
You do not have to deal with any of this alone though. Many of the seemingly care-free fresher students you’ve met so far on your drunken travels are going through the same things as you are, and it’s very likely many of them are struggling too.
Here in UL, there are many support systems and people of guidance available to you. So here is a list of some of the many services here to help you keep your mental health on track throughout your time in UL.
- The Student Counselling Service – Located in the main building (CM072), the UL student counselling service’s one purpose is to help our students get through any issues or stress that could be affecting their mental health. They have a daily drop-in clinic, so if you’re feeling low, stressed, alone or just fancy a chat, you can pop in and talk about whatever is on your free of charge. From there, you can request regular counselling or just pop in whenever you feel a need to – they’re here to help!
- The Student Welfare Officer – Roberta Harrington is our S.U welfare officer here in UL. Her office is located in the Student Union building in the courtyard and you are welcome to drop in and talk to her about whatever issues you may be having. If you think you need further guidance towards mental health services in UL, fear you may be in the wrong course of study, feel you are being bullied or have witnessed bullying, or maybe even feel that college is just not for you, talk to Roberta. Similarly, the Academic Officer and our S.U president are also here to help you with any issues you may be having, so don’t be afraid to pop in to see them.
- The First Seven Weeks Program – For the first seven weeks of the first semester, this program runs to support all UL students through difficult or stressful times. With special programs catered to helping Freshers get used to UL, workshops to help with study skills, final-year stress, and so much more. Drop into the First Seven Weeks Hub in the courtyard if you want to avail of any of their stress-reducing classes over the next few weeks.
- Weekly Mental Health Workshops – In one of those many pesky emails you receive weekly, there is an outline of the workshops on for the week that are to help with mental health and general well-being. Workshops on handling anxiety, low moods, relaxation and meditation are all available to students regularly, so if you want to get involved in those, ask the Counselling Service for a timetable on what’s available to you.
These are only some of the options available to students in UL, but there are more supports around the college that are here for you through difficult times. If you wish to find out more, drop into the S.U or the Student Counselling Service to find out more. Remember, you’re not alone in feeling this way so always reach out to those around you if you need help.