(Warning: this post will contain really ugly photos of me during freshers!)
September is fully underway which means that a lot of people will be heading off to university. Starting uni can be challenging for most people, but when mental heath issues are thrown into the mix, it can be even harder! I struggled to adjust to uni life a lot during my first year, especially the first few months, so I thought I’d share my experiences of freshers with mental health issues.
Okay, so my first day at uni was probably one of the worst days of my life. What a positive start to this post! The weeks leading up the big day, I was so excited and thought I was ready for uni. This was going to be my fresh start and I thought that nothing could stop me…
Or so I thought! However, before I even got to halls, the panicky feeling started to get worse as the day went on. I will never forget when we stopped off for a Burger King, but I couldn’t even eat because I was just crying and snotting everywhere! It wasn’t my finest moment in life, but it makes for a funny story. That day I had one of the worst panic attacks of my life.
Eventually, my mum managed to calm me down enough to actually get me to leave the car and give it a chance. I have no idea how she was able to do it, but I want to give her a massive thanks for it! So, I cautiously ventured into my new home, unpacked all my stuff and introduced myself to my flatmates.
Fear of fresher’s fortnight
Freshers was the thing I dreaded the most! I had all these worries about how I would cope during fresher’s fortnight. What if I had a panic attack on a night out? What if I couldn’t go out ask much as everyone else? Would my flatmates think I was weird? I couldn’t stop worrying about absolutely everything (which is hardly a new thing)…
Also, I really didn’t think that fresher’s was really going to be my cuppa tea because I didn’t go out out that much at home. I hated the idea of organised fun and I hated how busy everything was because I wasn’t used to it. I still gave it a go though.
Everybody is different
What I realised is that everyone is different. It didn’t matter that everyone else seemed to enjoy fresher’s week way more than me. It was totally okay that I didn’t go out every single night. None of my flatmates cared or thought it weird if I preferred to stay in and watch Gossip Girl.
I took everything at my own pace and I didn’t push myself. Putting my mental health before going out was what I needed to do and I don’t regret it at all. I still had a good fresher’s and made friends (who have put up with me for 2 years now) even though I didn’t go out constantly!
My one tip for those about to start uni, whether you suffer with mental health issues or not, would be to take it all at your own pace. Don’t stress about not enjoying the fresher events as much as everyone makes out that you should! You gotta do you.