Being at university as a young adult usually means going through several changes, some of which can be demanding on you both physically and mentally. You are in the life phase of adolescence, which can be defined by change, struggle, dilemma, discomfort, fatigue, and disorientation, but also courage, quest for independence, new responsibilities, increased capability, growth and reinvention.
Letting students figure some of this out for themselves and with each other, ought to be a purposeful part of any college’s strategy. But for those who continue to struggle, guidance and counselling support is easily accessible, and there are also clear routes to more specialized forms of treatment from psychologists and therapists.
Make a good start
Arriving in a new city and starting a new course of study is exciting, but might also feel daunting and unfamiliar. This is perfectly normal and should be expected – after all, the whole idea is to step outside your comfort zone and extend your capacity for work and life.
Wherever you are from, take some time to settle in, participate in activities, meet new people and be sure to look out for each other.
Share your experiences
We all need to feel heard, understood and respected. Whether we are feeling on top of the world or in a much darker place, being seen and acknowledged by others can help us make sense of our position.
Private and personal reflections on what we are experiencing, can often convert into new and useful insights when we talk about them with others, and can also lead to a sense of validation. Equally, our own perceptions can be challenged by talking, by which we learn new ways of looking at things and develop extra coping strategies.
Talking, reflecting and sharing have a very important place at University College Utrecht, and there are ample opportunities to find listeners and discussion partners, both here on campus and within a few minutes bike ride.
The following resources are available to support you in this.
The Student Life Office
The Student Life Office is a counselling resource - central point of contact for all students to discuss any aspect of their college experience, particularly in the non-academic domain. The Office welcomes any kind of conversation, and can cover a variety of topics including mental/physical health, making effective decisions, troubling family circumstances, time/attention management, questions of identity, inter-personal struggles, different learning needs, new campus initiatives, forward planning, or simply putting things into perspective and making it through the next semester. The counsellors at the Student Life Office can also signpost you towards more specialist resources (e.g. psychologists, therapists) if required.