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

What happens when I finish my course?

Preparing for graduation and moving on after studying can be both exciting and daunting. You may be thinking about your future career or about the support you will want after university. It's a good idea to think about the steps you can take to help you manage the move out of university and look after your mental health.

This page covers:

Save the Graduate also has a helpful list of things to consider as you prepare to leave university.

Preparing for life after university

It is completely normal to have no idea what you want to do after university. This can feel stressful, or affect how you feel about yourself, but it's important to remember that many people take months or even years to work out their next steps.

How do I decide what to do next?

  • If you are studying a course that could lead onto a specific career, relevant societies will provide information about career options in your field.
  • Make use of your university or college careers service. This is a great place to help you start thinking about what you might like to do when you finish studying.
  • The National Careers Service has advice and information on planning a career.

Remember: lots of graduates describe the process of finding a career as trial and error. Most students don't have a road map planned out – you don't need one!

Maintaining your support network

When you graduate, it is likely that the support networks you have at university may no longer be as easily available. If you are moving away from the city where you studied, it might be worth thinking about the support that is available in the new place you will be living.

  • Stay in touch with university friends – everyone finds this transition tricky, and hearing from an old friend is reassuring.
  • Try online support – you can access this wherever you move to. See our page on online support for more information.
  • Speak your local Mind to find out more about the support in your new area.

Arranging your healthcare

If you are moving away from your university town and are currently receiving support from your GP or an NHS service, you will need to plan how the move might affect the support you receive.

  • Visit your current GP and think about the process of transferring your care to a new GP.
  • Find out where you can register with a new GP.
  • If you're in touch with your community mental health team (CMHT) or crisis team, make sure you let them know that you're moving and find out how you can access the support you want in your new home.

Mental health at work

If you're starting work, it's important to think about how you'll manage your mental health in this new environment.


This information was published in February 2016. We will revise it in 2019.


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