Today’s discussion comes from a different light. With the traffic returning to the city as students swarm in the thousands to their flats/apartments and halls of residences. The stress factor is reintroduced as assignments and hand-in’s are usually due the two weeks beyond the holidays.
Coming with these are seeing friends again, catching up with the washing and the latest episodes of The bachelor. For others it might be a reuniting with their partners, doing the romantic thing with the flowers and the chocolate gift givings. While those things are great, I didn’t want to bring you here in this cold wintery evening just on pure positivity.
Lets be realistic. It sucks being back at university. With exams on the not too distant horizon and a pile of hand in’s this week, it’s easy to suggest that it might be a bit more than stress central around here. With the dishes piling up, bills to pay. Missing family seems to be number four in our priorities checklist.
Today I want to talk about student mental health and refer to, in particular, student suicide. This is not to mess with loose feathers for other students but it does need to be talked about more often. In reflection of the hit new teen TV series, Thirteen Reasons Why, maybe it’s useful that we look into the concern again coming into what looks like a cold month of May in preparation for the examinations in June/July.
Though it has never plagued my life as a student, it can be said for me that these months are usually a little bit more emotional in comparison to the likes of Summertime and Spring. Easter is the last major holiday for a lot of people carrying across the seasons so it does need to be talked about and applied to many people that suicide should never be the option.
We need to talk about suicide and the only way to do that is by taking a journey down suicide lane. The TV series aforementioned has been reported to romanticise the idea of suicide by encapsulating the death of a teenage girl and making up thirteen reasons why she ended her life. In some respects it is true that the idea was brutalist but in no way do I see that as being an accurate representation of what the director/producer was trying to portray.
First and foremost was that they wanted to raise awareness for something controversial. With all things controversial, like gender equality, sexual orientation, race, religion and abortion. There are always differences of opinion. The only way to raise awareness for something as horrible as suicide is by doing it in a way that would capture peoples attention and the way in which they did that was extremely successful.
You can visit my full in-depth review of 13 Reasons Why Here
But that’s not the point. In relation to the upcoming weather patterns, being winter. I just wanted to raise the point that things can get pretty miserable through winter and that it’s important to focus on what does matter like family, friends and making sure that you don’t forget to buy your girlfriend plenty of gifts over that period.
While getting back into school is really significant it needs to be said that from a males perspective. You never feel more isolated than when you’re cold, have exams to study for and your friends are busy with their assignments. I’d forgotten how amazing it is to learn stuff at school and remember that forward progress is always happening when studying.
For some people studying in itself can seem overwhelming, as i’ve grown i’ve learnt to understand that as a second year student, university doesn’t always correlate to getting work because it doesn’t. In the words of one of my architecture professors, “I don’t know how students are finding jobs out there, it’s such a cutthroat industry.” When taken into context University only teaches you what the job is and where it came from. Not necessarily how to actually do the job.
So there is this cognitive shift for me knowing that university won’t necessarily provide me with tangible work experience but that what I am doing is teaching me new skills which I can accumulate and use in many different situations. Basically, if you’re studying you’re doing it for yourself and not for a client.
Always important to remember that when things get tougher during these upcoming winter months that you’re doing this for you and nobody else. That you can pace yourself and take your time. If you’re worried that it’s not where your heart is and that you’ve wasted your money then make sure you get everything you need from it, accept that it has happened and move on from it next semester.
If you’re otherwise finding that the work load is really hard and you might not make it to your deadline, then apply for an extension and be honest that you need more time and say that it is affecting your mental health. Universities are to comply with The mental Health Act by law to ensure that your health in every aspect is kept more important than your school work. Because at the end of the day the positive you will always overwhelm that bastard inside that says not to. How will you work if you’ve contracted ebola?
I want to conclude on the note that while it’s cold outside and a bit rainy that when you go out of winter and into spring it is always going to be sunny. Your family loves you now and they will continue to do so even if you rack up a shit load of debt. Money is a man made currency that loses it’s value over time, love is forever bro.
While today’s conversation was a little less focused but it’s more of a general roundup of all things happening. Tonight will also be another blog updating on my upcoming charity bike ride so stay involved for that one!
Thanks for checking in!