Written by Charlotte Boyce a current NTU Law student
Mental health and University. Tackling them at the same time is never going to be easy and sometimes feels like you will never come out at the other end but here I am, standing proof that you can tackle these two things together. I always suffered with what I called ‘bad days’ for most days of the week when I was 16. I always put these feelings down to growing up and figuring my life out but it wasn’t until I moved away from home and came to NTU that I realised feeling this way wasn’t just growing up, constantly isolating myself from others was different from having my own space or being anxious day to day wasn’t just because I was nervous. I started losing interest and pleasure in studying, I was one of those people who loved being at school and was always up early to start the day.
Noticing that my studies at University were being affected and my relationships with others were failing I knew I had to do something. It’s difficult to notice your own issues, and even more difficult to seek help. But if you’re like me or feel different in yourself, talk to someone whether that be a friend, family member or doctor. It really does help and can be the first step to feeling that little bit of weight off your shoulders.
It took me what I call ‘falling down a black hole’ to realise I needed help, so I decided I wanted to speak to my boyfriend first then go see a doctor. Unfortunately, there is nothing glamorous about crying in front of a doctor revealing all your feelings you’ve kept to yourself for a long time BUT I felt better afterwards, I felt that little bit of relief and felt like ‘okay I can do this, things can get better.’ I was prescribed anti-depressants and referred to counselling as that’s what was best for me. I’m currently still going through counselling, mental health can’t be fixed by one session of talking but it’s helping. I am a different person just by realising I needed help and that’s okay! Asking for help is courageous, not cowardice.
So, why am I telling you this when most of my friends don’t even know half of this? I am telling whoever is reading this because I didn’t think other people felt the same way I did or I didn’t believe my problems were worth seeing a doctor and being put through counselling, isn’t there someone who needs it more than me? Let me tell you, no matter if you can relate to what I am going through or have feelings that you’ve kept to yourself, your feelings MATTER, they are WORTH being heard and you’re WORTH getting help.
As soon as I started talking to others and finding ways to manage my feelings, everything changed. I feel confident to speak to new people and I have made a lot more friends because of it when last year I kept to myself. I enjoy studying again and have my passion back to get the career I want. There’s no doubt about it, I still have my bad days and they will always be hard but I’m getting better at coping, I haven’t been down that black hole since I decided to talk to someone. So, if you wanted to take anything from this – talk to someone who you feel comfortable with and remember things can get better, one step at a time.
Plus, you can always find me to talk to!
For help and advice whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.
Personal Pastoral Support at NTU (general worries and anxiety, homesickness, loneliness, a relationship breakup, or a bereavement)
Support from NTU
Silvercloud: SilverCloud is our online system designed to help with a range of mental health issues.
Wellness in Mind: Advice and support for anyone in Nottingham experiencing issues with their mental wellbeing
Struggling at Uni? Go to Student Minds
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