Whether you’re moving away from home for the first time, have just finished college or are returning to education as a mature student, starting university can be a daunting experience. For me, overcoming my anxiety made the transition difficult to say the least. After trying to move away, I soon realised that moving back home and transferring to my local university would give me my best chance of succeeding. After enrolling on a new degree course I was back on track.
As I now complete my fourth year at university, I think it’s safe to say that the support available helped me make the most of every experience. I’m not ashamed to say that, without the range of support systems available at university, I might not have been able to achieve all I have today.
Whether you face homesickness, bereavement, academic challenges, disability needs or accommodation issues, the chances are that support is in place to help. And, most of the time, student services can provide you with all the information you need.
The university’s counselling service provides support for any personal or academic difficulties you might face during your studies – there’s no need to suffer in silence. For me, this has been a lifeline; a safe space to go when things seem overwhelming. Careers advisers are available for anything from help with CVs and preparing for interviews to searching for jobs, work experience and further study options. The library offers a range of support including subject-specific librarians who can help with academic work and research plus workshops to help you with referencing, research and other academic skills. If you experience technical difficulties during your studies – like last week when I logged in to find that all my documents and files had completely disappeared – IT support get you sorted. I’m convinced they are magic. Most academic schools have a student support officer to contact as your first port of call. If they can’t help you directly, they will point you in the direction of someone who can. Finally, the Students’ Union also offers a range of support including student officers, student representatives and impartial student advisers who can help you deal with a number of concerns.
So if you’re feeling concerned about going away to university, as I was, be reassured that there is so much help and support at hand. You might even enjoy it!