It’s World Mental Health Day, take some time to reflect.

The positive well-being of students is paramount. Photo: Flickr/CollegeDegrees360.

Since returning to university I have been unable to shake this feeling of frustration. I initially just accepted the fact that I am now in third year and the pressure is well and truly on. However, I think it is time to address that this feeling of complete desolation is not normal.

Whilst struggles with mental health is not a new phenomenon, I feel like this certain feeling that resides in the minds of university students needs to be addressed. It is from talking to my friends and course mates that I realised that I wasn’t alone in feeling like this, in fact it’s actually incredibly prevalent.

I sometimes feel like I am walking on water and other times it feels like I’m drowning. And what is with this feeling of never doing enough in the day? This overwhelming, consuming guilt that takes over every aspect of my life. So intense that even an hour of catching up with TV seems like a waste, but the feeling somehow becomes so all-consuming that actually sitting down and tackling the ever-increasing pile of work on my desk, seems like an insurmountable task.

I feel like this feeling of just general “downness” is not really spoken about enough. Whether that be because of the taboo of mental illness or just because it takes too much effort to explain, but it really is time to address the fact that happiness is really difficult to attain and maintain. Yet, somehow positive well-being is just accepted as something that just happens, something easy.

It is time to stop fooling students into thinking that their mood is just a by-product of university, that how they are feeling is perfectly normal because that’s how students feel.

University is an incredibly difficult time. Students battle sudden independence, difficult courses, overwhelming workloads, crippling loneliness – none of these should be tackled alone. Feeling down is just not part of the university experience.

It is really important to know what help is available:

  • Student Wellbeing Centre is open Monday- Friday 12-2pm & Thursday 5-7pm
  • The Big White Wall – 24/7 online and anonymous support for mental health