New to UC Syd and Haderslev? Maybe even Denmark? Embarking on student life is an exciting and challenging transition under any circumstances, but even more so when relocating to a foreign country is factored in. Psychologist Martin Clausen from Studenterrådgivningen offers advice on how to best care for yourself in the first few months of your studies.
1. Offload your worries. “It’s important not to keep your worries and anxieties locked inside. Share the things that are on your mind with someone else, whether it be a fellow student or on the phone to a family member. People often hold things in for fear of rejection, but showing vulnerability is likely to have the opposite effect — it brings people closer to one another. Once you pluck up the courage to express your fears and vulnerabilities to someone else, you make it easier for the other person to be open about their anxieties.”
2. Make connections. “Humans are social beings. That is one of the reasons it can affect our psychological well-being profoundly when we feel socially isolated. It makes sense to make an effort to be part of the study community, whether it is by having a study buddy or having a drink in the Friday bar.”
3. Do activities that energise you. “In your free time check in with yourself regularly and ask yourself, ‘what do I need right now?’ The answer probably varies from day to day. It could be anything from a peaceful walk, cooking a nice meal for yourself, playing computer games, or phoning a family member. Even little things like this can have a profound effect on your mood and energy levels.”
4. Be gentle with yourself. “Don’t put yourself down or criticize yourself if you’re feeling lonely, stressed or anxious at this time in your life. Remind yourself it is perfectly normal to experience these feelings in the situation you are currently in. The reality of student life may not live up to expectations, and this, too, is also perfectly normal.”
Need to talk to someone? Get free counselling from trained psychologists and social workers at Studenterrådgivningen. Find out more at https://srg.dk/en/
By Lisbeth Burich