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How to cope with student life

Explains how having a mental health problem can impact upon being a student, and suggests ways of coping and where to go for support.

Your stories

Coping with depression at university

Helen blogs about the challenges of getting a university degree while struggling with depression.

Posted on 17/02/2015

My university life with anxiety

Kerrie blogs about how her anxiety impacts her university life and her decision to live off campus.

Kerrie Wilkinson
Posted on 23/09/2015

Talking about anxiety at university

Emmie blogs about her experiences of managing relationships and anxiety whilst at university.

Emma Togneri
Posted on 24/09/2014

About student mental health

This information is authored by Nicola Bryom, founder and trustee of Student Minds.

Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity, providing information about student mental health and local peer support programmes.

Studying is likely to bring a number of changes to your life. Hopefully it should be enjoyable and interesting, but it can also be challenging – especially if you're also living with a mental health problem. You might face challenges such as:

  • meeting and working with new people
  • exams, deadlines for written work or presentations
  • managing your own finances
  • coping with homesickness
  • balancing the demands of studying with other commitments
  • maintaining relationships with family and old friends
  • leaving home, finding new housing and living with new people

Coping with new challenges can have an impact on your mental health, but there are lots of things that you can do to make your time as a student easier and more enjoyable.

The tutors who I chose to open up to were supportive. It was as a result of asking for help that I realised that with a few adjustments I would be able to finish my course, and nobody thought any less of me.

Students are also at somewhat higher risk of developing mental health problems. This could be because of:

  • Your age – many students are young people, and for many people this is the age when you first develop a mental health problem.
  • Stress – becoming a student can be a stressful experience. Although stress isn't a mental health problem, it can lead to mental health problems like depression and anxiety. See our pages on stress for more information.
  • Lack of support – you might have left home for the first time, or just don't have enough time to see your friends and family. Not having a good support network can make you vulnerable to developing a mental health problem.

> Read Sophie's blog about learning to cope with anxiety and panic attacks at university.

> Read about how Max's mental health was affected by starting university.


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