It’s often said that your university years are some of the best times of your life! We hope your time at UCU is enjoyable and healthy. However, life is rarely so simple, and it’s very likely you will encounter a few health and welfare challenges, as well other kinds of difficulties during that time. Not least because for many of you this will be a period of transitions: from youth to adulthood; from school to university; from home life to campus life; from elsewhere to Utrecht; and towards increased independence and responsibility.
Thankfully, for young adults at university, these challenges usually result in a very positive, exciting and fun period. However, as with most worthwhile challenges, it is perfectly normal for it all to feel demanding, disorientating, tiring and difficult at times. Sometimes you might feel anxious, confused, exhausted, upset or lonely, as you encounter new situations, and navigate your own personal growth at university. Simply talking about this with those around you can help remind you that the experiences you face, and the ways in which you react, are often normal, important and healthy parts of your personal development.
In this light, your own sense of wellbeing can include resilience to feeling unwell. It’s a way of accepting that you will certainly encounter adversity and struggle, and that you will develop coping skills to deal with them.
None of us are entitled to a life free of hardship, which comes hand-in-hand with growth. That’s why, at UCU, we can talk of ‘being’, and ‘quality of being’ as more important that ‘wellbeing’
There might also be times, though, when you need some kind of further support. Like all good universities, Utrecht University views students’ health and welfare seriously and there is a range of help and guidance readily available.