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. It is also very likely you are in the life phase of adolescence, which itself 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, pastoral 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 it might also feel daunting and unfamiliar. In itself, 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, make friends and be sure to look out for each other, yourself and your welfare so that you stay happy and healthy, and get the most out of your time at University College Utrecht.
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 acknowledge by others can help us share and make sense of our position.
Share your experiences
What might start as a private and personal reflection on what we are experiencing, can often convert into new and useful insights when we talk about it with others, and can also lead to a sense of validation and improved personal wellbeing. Extra coping strategies and partnerships may also be a part of this.
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 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, disabilities, new campus initiatives, forward planning, or simply putting things into perspective and making it through the next semester.