Well @ Wolves
Starting university can be a wonderful and exciting experience, but it can also bring its own unique challenges. It’s natural to feel nervous or overwhelmed about the change, and it can be a while before you feel like you’ve found your feet at university. Well@Wolves is here to make sure you StartWell at University.
Well@Wolves is our programme of events and activities that helps you to look after your physical and mental wellbeing. Well@Wolves essentially consists of 3 key areas; LiveWell, FeelWell and StudyWell. Everything we do around health and wellbeing will generally fit within one of these categories. Make sure you keep up to date with all the activities, events and support drop in’s, as well as with a range of self-help information and advice, by regularly check the Well@Wolves website to help you to stay Well@Wolves.
Student Mind’s, the UK’s student mental health charity, have developed a Transitions guide. This resource is here to help you be successful on campus, focusing on time management, relationships, identity, finances, sexual activity, mental illness, suicide and addictions and more. It also includes tips and strategies for helping students through challenging times and recommendations of where to go to get additional help, if needed. It’s a single source that you can reach for when you need helpful tips for navigating university life.
StartWell: The Transition to University
by Phoebe Hinton-Sheley
Going to Uni for the first time? From starting your brand new course, to meeting new people and making friends; whether you’re moving away from home, or sticking around to commute in – getting started on this brand new era in your life can be daunting. Chances are you’re being harassed with well-meant advice by what feels like everyone: family members, family friends, even the family dog. “Going to Uni will be the best years of your life”, sound familiar? I’ve heard it a million times. Here’s some ACTUAL ADVICE from someone who’s been going to Uni for the last 3 years, so buckle up! Here we go…
Living with new people
This is for the select people that will move – either into student halls, private halls, or a shared house. Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you’ll be moving in with people you don’t/barely know. You’re gonna meet some amazing new people, and make some fantastic new friends! But… living with people that aren’t family can bring new challenges. Picture this: you’re living in your new flat/house/hall, and it’s getting close to hand-ins and exams. You walk into the kitchen, and you see not one… not two… but THREE FULL BAGS OF RUBBISH, as well as an overflowing rubbish bin (oh yeah, we’ve ALL played bin-Tetris at some point in our lives). You’ve already taken the bins down 3 times this month, and feel like it’s someone else’s turn. I’d say, the best way to handle something like this, is to just have a chat with your flatmates: “hey, I’ve been taking the bins down a lot lately, would you mind popping a bag down later?” or something to that effect. There are also loads of facilities in accommodation services or in the Student’s Union, which can help you settle small flat disagreements. Larger disagreements can also be sorted in this way, at the Uni or Student’s Union.
When that first student loan payment comes in, I can guarantee that you’ll feel like a millionaire. You’ll be SO tempted to throw your money around… “ooo, this Louis Vuitton ballpoint pen looks nice… £150? SURE!” Soon enough, you’ll get to mid-November and wonder, “HOW AM I GOING TO BUY FOOD WITH -£300 IN MY BANK?!” There are loads of ways to keep an eye on your spending, without missing out on all the Fresher’s fun. For example, most banks can send text alerts for when you’ve spent your allotted weekly/monthly budget. Also, buying cheaper foods (e.g. yellow sticker foods and freezing them, and buying dried foods in bulk) can help keep costs down. There are also budgeting workshops, as well as an advice and support centre at the Student’s Union that can help with budgeting and money management, so that you don’t exhaust all of your overdraft within the first 2 months.
In all the hustle and bustle of Fresher’s, many students can end up with the dreaded FRESHERS FLU. If you’re moving away for Uni, take some time in the first couple of days to look up where your nearest GP is, and get yourself signed up with them (especially if you require repeat prescription medications, including asthma inhalers or diabetes medication). It’s much easier when you first start feeling under the weather, to just pop down the road to your local GP, rather than be stuck on a train home with only god knows what rash that needs looking at. Something to think about as well is: have you had your meningitis vaccination? Meningitis is SUPER common at universities, and can make you really unwell, as well as possibly have lifetime implications if you catch it. So make sure you get vaccinated.
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There are also loads of facilities if you start feeling lonely, or homesick – joining societies that have the same interests as you can help you find friends, which will help with homesickness in no time. Also, the Well@Wolves programme holds regular activities that help you to look at your own health and wellbeings and they’re a great way to meet new people and make friends.
Not exhausting yourself over Fresher’s
This period can be a super exciting time for everyone: freebies, parties, it’s ALL going down! But take it from me: DON’T EXHAUST YOURSELF! You think it’s all good, then all of a sudden, you’ve come down with a case of fresher’s flu, even though you PROMISED to go out tonight with your flatmates again. When you feel tired, get some rest! And by rest, I don’t necessarily mean sleeping for 24 hours straight – I mean making yourself some nutritious food (There are some BEAUT recipes on the Well@Wolves website), or perhaps going for a walk around the local park. Make some time for you!
The final piece of advice I shall bestow upon you when it comes to starting Uni is: Have Fun! Take in all the starting lectures for this amazing new course you’re doing, make the most of the meet-up events for making new friends. Yeah, Uni has its ups and downs, but that’s life! And that certainly doesn’t stop you from making the most of all these amazing opportunities you’ll get whilst you’re here. So go on: grab the bull by the horns!