How to Make Friends at University When You Struggle with Mental Health Difficulties

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6 Tips And Tricks From A Graduate On How To Make Friends At University When Struggling With Mental Health.

– – Hester

The best thing I took away from my university experience was an amazing group of supportive and like-minded friends – people I am close and connected to, who lifted, inspired and supported me. But finding them wasn’t always easy. Meeting new people and making friends can be incredibly difficult when you’re struggling with mental health – be it anxiety, depression, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and / or other illnesses. However, friends are one of the foundations of our ability to deal with the problems life poses. Building meaningful friendships is one of the best ways to improve mental health. Good college friends are like diamonds – hard to find, but so incredibly valuable and valuable that it is always worth the effort to find them. So, without further ado, here are 6 top tips on how to make friends in college if you’re struggling with mental health …

1. Reach out to students who are also having problems

Friends who have gone through similar tests tend to get along a little better. Therefore, contact students at your university who are struggling with similar mental health problems. Sign up for group counseling sessions through your university’s Student Support Center and meet people through Facebook groups and societies devoted to mental health.

2. Open

Talking about your sanity, especially with new people, can be daunting and feel incredibly vulnerable. But as soon as you open up to others, you will see how many other students have problems as well. When you are transparent about your illness, you can build a strong support network around you. make like-minded, understanding friends; and maintain a safe space where you can communicate your needs and experiences free of judgment.

3. Follow your passions

Following activities that you love is one of the best ways to make friends whose values ​​align with yours. Student unions typically host hundreds of societies, clubs, and events each year. Joining a student group is a fantastic way to find people who are passionate about things like you and to be part of a friendly community!

4. Use friendship apps

While social distancing measures will continue for months, many personal friendship opportunities are out of the question. However, friendship apps are a convenient and easy way to find like-minded people. So if you have a day in bed with poor mental health, you can still chat and make friends with nearby students! I found Serendip to be a brilliant app to connect more intensely with like-minded students nearby who share my core values.

5. Get out of your comfort zone – but be kind to yourself!

Pushing yourself to attend an event, talk to someone new to class, or reach out to a friend online can be a huge hassle if you are feeling down, anxious, or stressed out. However, it is important to move outside of your comfort zone in order to build and maintain strong friendships. This said taking time for self-sufficiency; It’s okay to move away from social situations that are uncomfortable or stressful. Your sanity always comes first.

6. Get professional support

If you are feeling lonely or isolated while studying, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Taking advice and talking to a counselor about your feelings and friendly struggles can help process your emotions and build better self-esteem and confidence. Samaritans also offers a free 24-hour call 365 days a year if you have problems and need someone to talk to. Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness.

Hi, I’m Hester – a graduate from the University of East Anglia. Like many others, I have had a fair share of ups and downs in mental health during my four years of college. While students are so pressured to spend the time of their lives in college and the mental health stigma persists in these areas, I want to help make struggling students and alumni feel less alone. Mental illness among students is more common than most people think – I think it’s important that we have more open conversations around the topic and help create safe and friendly spaces for students to talk about their experiences.

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