Although you're typically more independent at higher education there's a wealth of support that's easily accessible, both academic and social. The wide range of support services are there to help you get the best from your time while in higher education.
In this section, we'll showcase the variety of support available at the University of York and offer some useful tips to maintain a positive mental wellbeing. When looking at potential universities or colleges, it's always worth researching into the support they offer their students.
All higher and further education providers, whether this be a university or a sixth form college, will have support services in place for you if you need them. At the University of York we have a support network that consists of your academic supervisor, your college team and dedicated members of staff within our Student Hub.
A member of academic staff within your department will become your supervisor throughout your studies. You'll meet up frequently (at least once a term) to catch up about how your studies are going, but they'll also check in to see if you need any support or guidance. They can help you with personal development (eg careers and work experience), but they can also provide social support and signpost you to other services.
The University of York has a collegiate system, where the wider university community is split up into nine smaller communities. All students are allocated to a college and your college provides social activities and events.
Each college has a college team who are there throughout the year to support you. During Freshers’ Week, you will be supported by second and third year students (STYCs) who are on hand to help you settle in.
From flatmates to course friends to sport team members, at higher education you can quickly grow a diverse network of friends who you may build up the trust to talk to. The Students' Union (SU) can offer support by chatting to members of SU staff or volunteers.
SUs oversee societies that you can join at higher education: if relevant and appropriate to you, you can join societies such as the African Caribbean Society or the LGBTQ society to get advice and support from other students who understand your experiences.
This is a building that's based at the heart of the University of York campus where you can find dedicated and specialist staff that offer support and advice, from social issues through to more practical concerns such as money and housing guidance.
For students with a disability, learning difficulties or mental health difficulties there's specialised and tailored support for you. The Disability Services team can assess and create personalised plans for you and your needs to offer adjustments to teaching, equipment and assessment.
For more information on Disability Services watch James Browne’s video, a Disability Practitioner at the University of York.
It's incredibly important that you take steps to maintain a positive wellbeing while studying. This is encouraged by all at higher education so that you can perform your best academically and remain motivated and ready to learn.
There's many paths towards a positive wellbeing and ultimately it comes down to the individual and what works best for them.
Here are some of the ways you can take some time out to maintain a positive wellbeing:
Students at higher education can be unsure of how to manage and balance their time. This can sometimes mean that students are spending long hours on their studies and not spending time to relax and focus on themselves. In order to tackle this, some students take up the 888 model:
- 8 hours studying
- 8 hours socialising and relaxing
- 8 hours sleeping.
Although you can be lenient and flexible with this model, it's good to stick to this or have your own personal timetable in place.
Joining societies, sports teams or volunteering are great ways to meet new people and gain new skills. Spending time doing these activities will take your mind off your studies and allow you to focus on something else. In doing so, when you come back to your studies you will feel more refreshed and ultimately more happier and motivated.
Speaking to friends and family, or even visiting them, is something we would definitely encourage you to do to help maintain your wellbeing. Reaching out and spending time with familiar faces can help you feel more supported and they can cheer you on with your studies.
We’ve all heard that saying ‘you are what you eat’ and it's something you should keep in mind as a student. Ensuring you eat regular meals and fresh fruit and vegetables will give you more energy and you will feel much better in yourself.
Activity: working towards a positive wellbeing
For this activity, we want you to do something that you enjoy, in order to take your mind off studying and to focus on working towards a positive wellbeing. We guarantee that you will feel better afterwards!
Let us know what you'll be doing this week to maintain a positive wellbeing. We'll share in the weekly newsletter everyone's way to wellbeing. You might get some inspiration and see a method in the newsletter you want to try yourself.