Student support advisor Lou and student Ethan host a podcast about Mental Health. They both have headphones on and are sat in front of microphones.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Support

Student support advisor Lou joins the podcast to explain what kinds of mental health support students can access at BCU and shares some top tips for looking after your wellbeing at uni.

[00:00:05] Speaker 1 Hello, I'm Ethan. And I'm Libby. [00:00:07] Speaker 1 And we're both first year students at Birmingham City University. [00:00:10] Speaker 2 This is the Get Ready for Uni podcast where we talk about our first year experiences and give you guys top tips for starting university. [00:00:15] Speaker 1 And if you're looking for starting uni, you can visit BCU's free, Get Ready for Uni hub or if you're going through Clearing, there's loads of information about that on the website as well. [00:00:25] Speaker 2 Make sure to follow BCU on all social media platforms. [00:00:27] Speaker 1 So what are we going to be talking about today Libby? [00:00:29] So today we're actually talking about mental health at university because when BCU surveyed year 12 and 13 students, it was actually one of the things that was like most anxious about, you know, everyone was kind of concerned about how how their mental health was going to be affected when they came to university. [00:00:49] Speaker 2 So you know, it was ranked quite high. So we wanted to see why that is and we also want to speak to someone from Mental Health team as well, so we're getting them in a bit later on in the podcast. [00:00:57] Oh lovely. [00:00:58] Yeah, but you know, we want to talk about today how university can actually affect your mental health, you know, things like being far away from home or not making friends. [00:01:07] Speaker 1 Or like living alone and just a lot of stuff that's like, yeah, first time. [00:01:12] Speaker 2 It's like a big change and I feel like change is one of the most, you know, biggest things that does affect people mentally because, you know, going from being at home with your like support system, your family, you know, you've lived that way for your entire life. [00:01:26] Speaker 1 Exactly and now you're coming to a whole new place and it's like, what was that, what is this? [00:01:30] Speaker 2 Yeah. I mean, you know, you might be in the same city as you live in or you might live at home, but if you are moving away and you're moving into residence like we have, you know, then it might be a completely new situation for you and it might be really nerve wracking. You know, I remember I was really nervous when I started. [00:01:45] Speaker 1 I was so scared I wasn't going to make like any friends and stuff like that. [00:01:48] Speaker 2 That was like me as well. I was like, Oh my God. But, you know, like we've said in previous episodes, just like throwing yourself out there was the best thing to do. But no I definitely felt like really nervous because also like, you know, you're kind of leaving your life behind that you've already had, so all your friends that you've made at home and everything that you've done beforehand, you now have to kind of rebuild connections with strangers, so that's really nerve wracking. [00:02:13] Speaker 1 I was literally saying this of my friend the other day, it literally feels like one, when I'm going to go back home for summer, then it's like, my life's not really there anymore. Like, obviously there's still parts of it down there, but a lot of it is just back over at uni now. And it's just emotional, you know. [00:02:30] Speaker 2 But I think like it's really weird to think about that now, isn't it? You wouldn't think, oh when this time last year you wouldn't be like, oh you know, next year I'm going to be so sad when I'm leaving my university friends to come home. You think, oh these people are my world, like, this is my life, I'm going to always want to be here. But actually it kind of switches when you get to university. [00:02:47] Speaker 1 Definitely. [00:02:47] Speaker 2 I feel like that initial meeting people and the initial, you know, being away from your support system that you're so, you know, secluded with is, you know, it can affect you really badly. Personally, I was ok cause I'm not, I'm not very far away, I'm only like a little train ride away. But you're quite far away. [00:03:06] Yeah. [00:03:06] Do you find it quite... [00:03:08] Speaker 1 I think it was more like. It was definitely like, you know well I'm moving two hours away. [00:03:14] Speaker 2 Also, the uni has been really good at like offering his help as well. So it doesn't matter how far away we are, it's been it's been nice to know that there is help, even though I haven't felt the need to use it. [00:03:24] Speaker 1 No. Yeah, I haven't needed to use it. But I do know that like... [00:03:27] Speaker 2 It's comforting, isn't it? Because there is help. [00:03:29] Speaker 1 Exactly. It's not just, you know, like your own support system, it's also your lecturers. [00:03:35] Speaker 2 There's also tutors as well. [00:03:37] Speaker 1 Exactly. Even your friends you can go to, because I definitely feel like there's such a massive stigma around like having, like mental health issues, is that the word. [00:03:47] Speaker 2 Yeah, exactly. Having problems with mental health like I know it's spoken about much more now because of like social media and stuff, but I feel like it's not actually... [00:03:54] Speaker 1 There's still like a stigma around it, definitely. [00:03:57] Speaker 2 Especially with like males as well. [00:03:58] Speaker 1 Exactly. [00:03:59] Speaker 2 There's a lot of, you know, stuff about that, but I feel like there's loads of support here, like the Student Support advisors as well the SA team. And there's like just loads of different teams within the uni itself. We kind of find out about them throughout the year, like there's still loads more that we probably haven't even discovered yet. But like they all, you get emails and stuff like that as well. There's mental wellbeing week, even our own accommodation, they send us stuff every week, being like this week, it's this week, you know, have some of this to help you. [00:04:25] Speaker 1 Or like National so and so day. [00:04:26] Speaker 2 Like National Anxiety Day. So it be like, here we're going to do this for you guys. So they are really helpful here. [00:04:31] Speaker 1 They're on it aren't they. [00:04:32] Speaker 2 It's really good. [00:04:33] Speaker 1 And it's like really nice to know that because it's like just really nice to know that. [00:04:38] Speaker 2 You know, people are suffering. So it's like, you know, we can't really do much, we're not professionals. So it's nice to know that getting some form of help, even if it's not like the most, you know, down to from that they need. And I feel like stuff, stuff like that and also like, you know, money issues as well or like just just change in general, I feel it's really hard, to kind of come to terms it, once you've got it, I feel like it's ok. Cause I felt at first we were really, I don't know about you, but I was a bit like, ooh, bit stressed about this, bit stressed about that. But I feel like it's just finding out a support system, like you said, you know, getting that support and then everything's kind of, you know, a lot better. [00:05:16] Speaker 1 I think it's like definitely when you go to university, you kind of need to see what's around. LIke obviously inside the university, but also outside because then, you know, there's things like activities you could do. So like say, you know, you could go for a meal out or like say stargazing or something like that. You know, it's like. [00:05:35] Speaker 2 You love your stargazing. [00:05:36] Speaker 1 I do! [00:05:36] Speaker 2 You know, cause near us as well, all around Birmingham obviously got more canals than Venice haven't we. Even going for a walk around the canals, I wouldn't do the whole thing, it's like miles long, but doing a few walks here and there, or even just walking into town and doing some retail therapy or just like even just browsing, I like browsing. [00:05:54] Speaker 1 I love going on a walk. [00:05:55] Speaker 2 Yeah, I'm always up for a walk with you, you're like do you want to just come here? I'm like, yeah ok, might as well. [00:06:00] Speaker 1 I do love a good walk. You've got to take the time out of your day and realise that like, even if you do have spare time on your hands maybe try and fill it with something. Obviously it's good to give yourself, like breaks and stuff. Like you do deserve that and you should be incorporating it into your week. But at the same time it's like you don't want to take too much because that could almost, in a way like make you bored. [00:06:24] Speaker 2 Start being bored. Yeah. The more time you kind of spend alone as well, you don't want to be sitting alone in your spare time, you want to be out doing stuff or, you know, like you said, make a routine because, you know, when you're at home, all these past like, you know, 14, 15 years, you've had a school routine, so you've been like, oh, wake up, go do this, and then have a chunk of work in the middle but I get a little break in between, and then I go home and relax. So like, I feel like I keep in a similar routine, but it's more like adapt to you is much, a much better way of kind of keeping yourself calm. [00:06:54] Speaker 1 Exactly. Because you are on your own time when you're at university. Because obviously when you do like, say, go to college or do A-levels, at sixth form or stuff like that, it kind of breaks away that routine a bit from school because obviously you're not really going to be going in as much. Like you are older now, you're a bit more independent, but you're still kind of in the swing of things of that you are used to be. [00:07:18] Speaker 2 You're still at home, you still have a home life. So like, Oh, dinner's at this time, this is when you, when you're by yourself at university is much different. So I feel like grasping a routine is really good, especially for like mental health and stuff because, you know, it can be hard for people who are suffering to find that kind of routine. And if they don't have their like, you know, their primary support people there, it's it must be really difficult for them. So, you know, making sure that you've got a good like I'm saying, again, a good support group around you that your friends especially uni friends, luckily we're quite close, so if I have any issues or I want to hang out with you, I'd be like, come over, let's just chill for a bit because don't want to feel too alone. [00:07:56] Speaker 1 Make some pasta. [00:07:57] Speaker 2 Make some pasta. Watch some mamma mia, you know, chill out. [00:08:01] Speaker 1 Yeah. I mean, you know, and it's also like going for a walk, I think that's really quite crucial because it's like gets you out and, like, gets your body moving. It's kind of like, I mean, obviously, walking is exercise at the end of the day. That's definitely like a big thing that I think people don't really realise that they need. Like they'll, kind of just like, you know, exercise doesn't mean to just like go to the gym or something. [00:08:25] Speaker 2 Big workout. [00:08:26] Speaker 1 Yeah, exactly. It's like it can just be, say, going on a walk or like you could even do it, almost like going on a hike if you have a hill, climb it. [00:08:35] Speaker 2 Or even just taking the stairs rather than the lift, you know, doing something. [00:08:38] Speaker 1 Every step counts. [00:08:40] Speaker 2 But you know, sometimes be on the eigth floor, every step hurts as well. But, you know, you know, take in stuff like that as well. And it also give you time to like not be on your phone or not be on social media, cause I feel like that's kind of another thing that could be really detrimental to mental health at the minute. [00:08:54] Speaker 1 I feel like a lot of stuff definitely as well. It's like just you just do it. [00:08:58] Speaker 2 Yeah. [00:08:58] Speaker 1 Like if you think about it too much, then it's like you're going to keep putting it off. [00:09:02] Speaker 2 Overstretch yourself, you're going to procrastinate. It's going to make things worse. Go and be spontaneous and go and like, do things, then it's like it's just much easier to do them. But I feel like even just doing that, you know, it can distract you from the stuff that, you know, might be affecting you as well. And you can reach out to friends and family as well while doing this, you know, um, you know, go to talk to people and actually like, speak to even people in the uni as well. But I think we have a society at the university. [00:09:28] Speaker 1 We do, yeah. [00:09:28] It's called Put the Kettle On and it's also ran by other students. So it's like if you don't feel comfortable enough to say talk to like an elder or someone. Then it's like someone on your level. [00:09:40] Speaker 2 It's more relatable. [00:09:41] Speaker 1 Exactly. [00:09:41] Speaker 2 It makes you feel more like secure as well, which I find is quite good. [00:09:44] Speaker 1 Definitely. And like, I just feel like if I ever wanted to speak to someone, I'd want to do it to someone that's like kind of on my level because it's like I feel like they're just in a way more understanding, even though like obviously. [00:09:57] Speaker 2 Professionals are going to be. [00:09:59] Speaker 1 But like when it's someone your age, it's kind of like it's... [00:10:03] Speaker 2 It's more casual, isn't it? [00:10:04] Speaker 1 Definitely. Because it's I feel a lot more comfortable when I can like, talk to my friends because I can tell them anything really. [00:10:10] Speaker 2 You have no filter. So, yeah, I feel like definitely, you know, if you are too scared to talk to, like, professionals or, you know, someone so serious, if you don't think that you're issue serious, which obviously it probably is if you're thinking about it, you know, if you don't feel like that way personally or you don't feel you can go that high up, then you know, speaking to these kind of people is kind of beneficial for you because, you know, first of all, they could help you with their issues, but if not, they could like, you know, they can refer you to like the BCU Mental Health team or anything like that, you know, and they actually get you the help that you need. So even just by making small little connections and speaking to like even one person can change everything for you. [00:10:49] Speaker 1 No, definitely. And it's like as you mentioned, the team, like obviously if you don't say feel comfortable talking to someone your own age, then there's obviously the team which is obviously got like a diverse range of ages and as well. So like even if you wanted someone that's like say maybe has a bit more of a backbone of stuff like that and has a bit more knowledge, then you can kind of go to any of them. So as mentioned earlier, we've now got our very special guest Lou here. So if you just like to introduce yourself for us. [00:11:21] Speaker 3 Hi. Yeah, I'm Lou and I'm one of the Mental Health advisors with the Mental Health and Wellbeing team here at BCU. [00:11:27] Speaker 2 Perfect. I've actually got some questions here for you which we can actually discuss, like between ourselves. The first question says, could you summarise what different kinds of support are available for BCU students when they have issues with their mental health? [00:11:39] Speaker 3 Ok, there's lots of support available actually. And I think, you know, thinking about mental health, it doesn't mean that you have to have any diagnosis of things wrong with your mental health. I think a lot of people do worry about that. It's just if you're struggling, you know, with what's going on in uni or your mental wellbeing is a little bit off. So within our team we have we have counsellors, we have cognitive behavioural therapists, we have wellbeing advisors and we have mental health advisors like myself. Do you want me to tell you a little bit about the difference? Would that be helpful? [00:12:09] Speaker 1 Yeah, because I don't really know the difference between any of them. [00:12:12] Speaker 3 Ok, So the way I kind of talk about, say the counsellors, our counsellors, I suppose they kind of help you work out the what and the why, so what's going on and why might it be going on. And from that information you almost then yourself work out the how you know, how am I going to move forward with this. With our the cognitive behavioural therapists, they do cognitive behavioural therapy and I'll be here all day explaining what that is. [00:12:38] Speaker 2 I studied that in psychology and I kind of got the gist of that. [00:12:40] Speaker 3 But basically, you know, it's it's things that are offered out there on the NHS as well, it's a really great resource. So if people do come to us we can explain a little bit more about that. Our wellbeing advisors, I suppose it does what it says on the tin, you know, they support students with all manner of wellbeing and that could be, you know, anxiety management could be stuff to do with procrastination. Just getting used to coming to uni, because it's different. [00:13:07] Speaker 2 We were on about that earlier actually. [00:13:09] Speaker 3 Absolutely. [00:13:11] Speaker 2 It's huge and sometimes it could be you know people who aren't making friends or want to make friendships and just having someone that you can just talk to and get some tips and techniques as to you know, as to I suppose help your wellbeing, emotional wellbeing. And mental health advisors, whilst we kind of do that as well, we generally tend to deal with the students who have diagnoses of the, I suppose, mental health conditions that would have a bigger impact on their ability to study. Yeah, you know, or it could be if students say whilst they are they are studying, they end up starting to take some mental health medication and they're just unsure about things and they want to just kind of have someone with knowledge about that world, to talk to. In a nutshell, that's kind of what we can help them with as well. [00:13:56] Speaker 2 That's quite interesting. I didn't really know the difference between them. They were kind of just like, merged into like one category. [00:14:02] Speaker 3 Yeah. [00:14:02] Speaker 1 So like, would it be like. So when a student visits, you'd kind of assign one of those to the student, if that makes sense. [00:14:09] Speaker 3 What happens is to, to access our support, you have to register and there's an iCity page on there and you just click a button fill a form in and it comes to our admin team. From there we do a thing, an assessment, and that could be with any of us, it could be with any of the, you know, mental health advisor and wellbeing, CBT or a counsellor. And the point of that is we've got, you know, we've got information that we look holistically at a person's life and see what's going on and what it is that they want. And because a lot of people come and they're not sure what they want or they need either. We'll tell them what's available and we won't prescribe what you should do or who you should see, but we'll just talk about the different options and which one sounds like the better one for you. [00:14:55] Speaker 2 Yeah. [00:14:56] Speaker 3 And then I say. And then I'll see if they have that assessment. Say they do an assessment with me and they go, right I want to see one of the counsellors we pop that in with the councillors. [00:15:03] Speaker 2 That's quite good then. And so it's really good for like the students who may be like too nervous to like say anything or like, you know, kind of approach you guys in person. So at least it's like online to reach out to you sort of reach out to you, which is quite good. [00:15:15] Speaker 3 The forms online, yeah, and then unfortunately they've then got to talk to us. [00:15:17] Speaker 2 But at least the first step is online. [00:15:20] Speaker 1 Because that could be like really daunting couldn't it. [00:15:22] Speaker 3 Absolutely. And it is it's a struggle reaching out, you know, to get to get help initially because and also I think a lot of people worry that it's just them. [00:15:30] Speaker 2 Yeah, we were talking about earlier it may feel like it's only just you, but then, you know, once you actually reach out for support, most people are actually going through the exact same thing. [00:15:39] Speaker 3 Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. [00:15:41] Speaker 2 But yeah, there's another question here, it says, could you share three top tips for any students looking to build positive mental health at university? [00:15:51] Speaker 3 Routine. So get yourself into a routine because again, coming to universities different, isn't it? You know, you haven't got your mum or dad or your carer telling you to get out of bed, get to your lectures. [00:15:57] Speaker 1 Exactly. [00:15:58] Speaker 3 And it can be really easy for you know, feeling a bit tired today. [00:16:02] Speaker 1 Slip in a rabbit hole isn't it really. [00:16:04] Speaker 3 And it is, it's about getting yourself into a routine and of whatever helps for you, but getting up in the morning, you know, eaten, go to your lectures. And even on those days when you haven't got lectures and things to do, still getting up, doing something. So routines key. I'm trying to get a good start to your day and a good end to your day so sleeping routines, because I don't know about you two but I know a lot of students go nocturnal. It's as if you swap days and nights. [00:16:30] Speaker 2 We had a little phase of going nocturnal. But now that is lighter, you can't really afford to because it's like you're already awake at the crack of dawn. [00:16:36] Speaker 3 Self-care is another one. So, you know, making sure that you take time for self-care and self-care isn't always this, you know, bubble baths and habitation and candles. It's sometimes just getting out of your room and going for a walk. Getting some fresh air and some vitamin D, you know, just getting out of your study area or whatever is, you know, it's I always encourage students that I talk to to as part of their self-care if they've got strong family and friend bonds back at home and they can is to you know to kind of schedule in time during the semester to go home and not just wait for your holidays because for a lot of people, when they are struggling somewhere new, and their missing home, it helps recharge the batteries when you go home around people that you love and you trust and they love and trust you, you know, because it's all new here isn't it and making friends. I think we forget how difficult it is to make friends when we haven't had to do it for a long time. [00:17:33] Speaker 1 Yeah, yeah. Because it's like, yeah, because obviously the only really friends you would have have would be from, you know, like what, secondary school or something and it was a long time ago. [00:17:42] Speaker 2 Sometimes if I'm just feeling a bit lonely or no one's in, I'll just go home and I'll be like, I'll hang out with my family for the weekend. [00:17:48] Speaker 3 And that's it, you know, and hanging out with people, it doesn't have to cost money. It could be just grab a boardgame. [00:17:55] Speaker 2 You don't have to do anything just being in eachothers company. [00:17:59] Speaker 3 Sit and watch a film, because I think a lot of people go, oh, I can't afford to hang out with people can't afford to do that. Yeah, just get people around your flat. So again, that is self-care, it's whatever makes you feel better, whatever helps to recharge your batteries. It could be putting yourself in your room and going to sleep. You know, some days. And then I think along with all that, its haveing that balance of study and life. Because I don't know how you, I don't know how your course went but I know I only finished my degree in 2021. And for the first two years of my degree I literally was doing nothing else other than my degree. I lost my, my, my life balance, and a lot of students do that as well because they think it's, you know, you get all this work, you go, oh my god, I've got to learn all of this. [00:18:42] Speaker 2 Yeah, I know quite a few friends like that as well. [00:18:44] Speaker 3 And so and so it takes over your life and you then don't plan in breaks with your friends. [00:18:49] Speaker 2 I agree with that point. I definitely going out of your way to, like, make a good balance is always really important. [00:18:55] Speaker 3 Yeah. And all of that helps your mental wellbeing. [00:18:58] Speaker 2 Yeah. Because you want to burn yourself out either do you? Because that would make it worse. [00:19:02] Speaker 3 No and ultimately, you know, if you do do too much, you'll end up hating your course. You'll wonder why you have come to uni. That'll just, you know, and then you'll feel like it's time wasted. Whereas if you get that student bit, you know, to get out meeting friends doing whatever it is, that's the bit that people remember, isn't it. [00:19:20] Speaker 2 Yeah. So the actual uni experience. Yeah that's, that's quite a good tip. [00:19:26] Speaker 2 It kind of touches on what we spoke about earlier as well. So it's kind of reinforcing. We've also got some questions from The Student Room, which is like actual applicants for university students as well. So the first one says I've ended up being behind on work due to procrastinating and now I realise how silly I was. It's gotten to the point where it's now getting me down and give me anxiety. What advice do you have for me and what I should do next? [00:19:50] Speaker 3 I read the question as if that could be me. So many students that we speak to say exactly the same and you know, it happens. [00:20:00] Speaker 2 Yeah. [00:20:01] Speaker 1 I've had it happen to me because, you know, you just like leave it to last minute because you just think there's other better stuff to do with your time, don't you? [00:20:09] Speaker 3 Yeah. Yeah. And sometimes procrastination can be linked to fear. Fear that I'm going to fail. And that's linked to anxiety and all of those bits and pieces, and it's a really human thing to put off things that you don't want to do because assignments aren't fun, let's be honest. You know, so you can think, oh I can go on a night out with my mates or I can do my assignment. I know which one I'm picking. [00:20:29] Speaker 2 Well, exactly. And then there's also like, when you do leave it that long, sometimes it does mess. I remember my first semester I was doing it, but my laptop isn't compatible with all the software, and I didn't realise that until literally right till the end. So I had to keep travelling to and from uni, from my home city to come to the library to do it. When I was like if I just didn't procrastinate, I would have not been having to do all these travelling here. But then you learn from your mistakes I guess. [00:20:50] Speaker 3 You do learn, but also I think the big thing with all of these things is you just got to be kind to yourself. [00:20:56] Speaker 2 Yeah. [00:20:57] Speaker 3 You know, and yeah, you feel a little bit silly, you know, you might do it again and it happens and it's not beating yourself up, but learning from it and thinking, ok so next time this is what I'm going to do differently. But if you stuck in a situation where you've literally got days to go before you need to do your work, you literally need to get on with it. [00:21:16] Speaker 2 Definitely. [00:21:18] Speaker 2 You kind of have to talk with yourself, like I have to do this now. [00:21:20] Speaker 3 Yeah, it is, have a word with yourself and just saying to know what, I chose to not do this and so I'm now choosing that. And you know, most people are young enough to do all nighters and again, you know, it's that bit of it might mean for a couple of days that your life goes out the window. [00:21:38] Speaker 2 Yeah. [00:21:38] Speaker 3 But ultimately you've caused it. [00:21:41] Speaker 2 Yeah. Yeah. [00:21:42] Speaker 3 And and it isn't about going, ok I'm going to try and not do that again. [00:21:46] Speaker 2 Yeah. Can you kind of feel a bit of regret afterwards. You know, I actually might have been able to get a much better score, a better outcome if I did start this earlier. But then, you know, you cant go back and do it. [00:21:55] Speaker 1 Like what's done is done. [00:21:59] Speaker 3 Absolutely. [00:21:59] Speaker 2 I'd rather regret doing something then regret not doing it. [00:22:01] Speaker 1 Like take that with you and learn from it. [00:22:05] Speaker 3 Yeah. And the longer you put it off, the more anxious you're going to get. [00:22:08] Speaker 2 So it builds up, doesn't it. [00:22:10] Speaker 3 That's it, you know. As I say, sometimes it's just a case of, right, I've got to get on with this. But then let's look to the wider university and see what academic support I can get, so next time the bits that I was worried about starting, let's go to the Centre of Academic Success or you know, or to the SSA's or someone like that and have a chat with them to see how and I say our wellbeing advisors, great font of all knowledge, with anti procrastination tips. [00:22:37] Speaker 2 I'm getting a bit better but I feel like it's not as serious as those who have like actual exams and stuff. [00:22:45] Speaker 1 Yeah. But then there also is this other question which a student has sent in and it says I'm feeling really overwhelmed with uni and not sure if I should have actually taken a gap year or not. What are my options? Is it possible to take time out or do I have to quit my course altogether? [00:23:00] Speaker 3 I suppose that's something that I'm not going to give a definitive yes or no answer because I can't, it's personal but also, I can't comment on individual circumstances and courses because for some students do take time out. And restart the year, so you know some actually go away and have a gap year or whatever. But that's something that you have to discuss with your academics and, you know, and the university itself. But first step I think is talk to someone, have a word with your personal tutor, you know, because all students get a personal tutor who is supposed to be there for these kind of conversations. You've got your Students Success Advisors in each school have a word with them, come and have a word with us, you know, because it might be you know, if you think about the first question, it could be that you've just been procrastinating, you feel a little bit overwhelmed and you don't actually need to take that break. [00:23:51] Speaker 2 You're just having like a moment of doubt. Yeah. [00:23:54] Speaker 3 You just need to kind of have that conversation, but sit with someone and be able to look at the pros and the cons of each of them because it will have financial aspects as well. Again, the Student Finance team can can help and help you understand that too. So just don't sit and bottle it up, come and talk to someone and just see what your options are. [00:24:14] Speaker 2 Yeah, I feel like it's good because the option to defer might be like really helpful for some students because, you know, then they at least they know they're already on the course and they kind of know what they're getting into as well. But you know, for some students it might be like they just want to drop out completely, it's not for them. But then I guess, like you said, it is really personal to them. You know, it's not just a generic, oh, if you're feeling like this, you have to do this, and no, it depends on your circumstance and not your situation. So I feel like it's quite a difficult question to answer, but like you said, go speak to someone that can help. [00:24:41] Speaker 3 It is because not every answer is right for everyone, to say university isn't for everyone and it's ok to give it a go and work that out. [00:24:50] Speaker 2 At least you tried it. [00:24:51] Speaker 3 And also, you know, especially if you're younger. You know, I went to uni when I was 41 because it wasn't okay for me at 19. And that's ok too, you know, so there's choices and options. [00:25:02] Speaker 1 Also, I think, because obviously, you know, you've got your team as well. So when they like when you kind of assess their circumstances, you can like help them instead of, you know, just giving that basic answer, saying like, you know, oh, do this or do that. But like once you really kind of get to know them, you can like give them the advice that they need to hear. [00:25:20] Speaker 2 It's more specified isn't it which is really good. [00:25:21] Speaker 3 Absolutely. That's it. Yeah. And it's the same with all of these things, because even the first question, different people have procrastinated for different reasons. But if you come in and talk to us, we can look at why you're procrastinating or why you're struggling and all those bits. [00:25:34] Speaker 2 Yeah. Final question here says, the main thing that gives me anxiety at uni is making friends, even when I'm with people, I worry that I'm just the tag along to the group, not really part of it. What advice do you have to help make stronger friendships? [00:25:47] Speaker 3 You know, if I knew the answer to that, I'd be very rich woman and I'd sell a answers to every student I speak to. [00:25:54] Speaker 2 Yeah, you just throw stuff out there. Hi, my name's Libby. Where are you? What's your name? Where are you from? What course you studying? Three simple questions. And if you don't really like their vibe, you just walk on to the next person. [00:26:03] Speaker 3 It's that whole thing, it's about remembering how long did it take us to make our friends initially? And we won't even remember that because, you know, some of our friends would have known from infant school. And it takes time to build friendships. Of course it does. But, you know, we've got things. You got the societies. [00:26:22] Speaker 2 Yeah, I'm in a society as well. [00:26:24] Speaker 3 You know, so these things are going on and, you know, and also this whole thing of if there's if there isn't a society there for you, there's bound to be someone else is going to want to do what you want to do. So set one up yourself. You know, get out there, have a look, give it a try. Freshers week is always a good one. [00:26:38] Speaker 2 Freshers Week was actually really good for making friends. I wasn't very alcohol driven either, which was ok. [00:26:43] Speaker 1 I was. [00:26:44] Speaker 2 I know you were. [00:26:46] Speaker 3 But you don't necessarily have to be because there will be lots of students coming here that don't drink. [00:26:51] Speaker 2 That's what I was nervous about. [00:26:52] Speaker 3 Everyone's nervous, but we always think it's just us. Everyone's got that little inner voice going, no one's going to like me. Everyone's going to think I'm boring. [00:27:02] Speaker 2 Everyone here is petrified. Maybe even more petrified than me. I'll be like I'm fine, I'm fine. It's just convincing yourself that you're actually in the same boat. [00:27:08] Speaker 3 That's it. And, you know, and actually, if you know, because sometimes people come to uni and maybe they didn't have the greatest friendships back at home because they couldn't be who they feel that they truly are. [00:27:18] Speaker 2 Yeah, that's another thing we've seen a lot of our friends like actually be themselves and they're like, you know, I've never actually met people who have been so like me and it's really good. It's really eye opening for people like, I feel like school friends, yeah, your friends, but that might just be proximity, you know what I mean? Like, yeah, you have some similar interests just because you've grown up together and you've been like proximity like, but at uni you can pick and choose but oh, actually we have a lot in common or actually like I've never met anyone who loves this person as much as me or this film or this. So it's it's really nice to, like, get a fresh slate, a clean slate, isn't it? And it's like, I kind of like it. [00:27:53] Speaker 3 It and, you know, and these kind of things we get all the time, you know, and I'm always talking to students about,I call it finding your tribe. I think once you find your people and you may or may not find them at uni and that's ok too. But once you find your people, actually, then you can be whoever you want be and whoever you really are, rather than trying to fit into groups where it's not really you but I just don't want to be lonely. [00:28:19] Speaker 2 Yeah, exactly. That was kind of how the whole school situation was though wasn't it, it was like you had to fit into a group here. It's like it's your whole life, you can do whatever you want. [00:28:27] Speaker 3 You do you as they say. [00:28:29] Speaker 2 You have to like force yourself to be part of this friendship group if they're not your kind of people then see you later, you know what I mean it's it's, it's much more freeing I guess, at university. [00:28:39] Speaker 3 It is but then that's also quite scary. [00:28:41] Speaker 2 Exactly it's like pros and cons like you said, but yeah no, I think I think Ethan's quite nice, I think I'll keep him as one of my friends, which is quite nice. [00:28:48] Speaker 1 I wish I could say the same. [00:28:51] Speaker 3 You're getting dumped once you finish your course. [00:28:54] Speaker 2 That's fine by me. Once I get really rich and famous, he will be begging for me again. Please! [00:28:59] Speaker 1 Well, thank you very much for joining us today. If you could just reinforce like where we can find you and stuff. [00:29:06] Speaker 3 Ok, so the easiest place to find us once you've registered and you're in the iCity kind of set up is the Mental Health and Wellbeing page on the iCity link. It shows my age with the iCity thing, you know what I mean, on iCity. And on there there's a big blue button, well it's blue at this point it might not be when you look at it, saying register here and that takes you to the form to fill in and just fill it in. But we can also, you know, we could be contacted by email. So you can email our group mailbox at and you can do that even when you're not registered. Our admin team will support you in becoming registered and there is, there is a phone number which is on our iCity pages. [00:29:51] Speaker 1 Lovely. Well, thank you again for coming in. [00:29:55] Speaker 3 Just to kind of just to clarify, our office hours are 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. [00:30:00] Speaker 1 That's average. [00:30:01] Speaker 3 Yeah, that's it and again, and that's throughout the year. I think we're only shut for the one week of Christmas and your bank holidays and those kind of things so people can still access our support over holidays, even when they go home because we do offer remote and face to face appointments. [00:30:17] Speaker 2 Ok, perfect. Thank you very much Lou. [00:30:20] Speaker 1 If you do have any questions, you can send them into the BCU social media channels and we will try to answer them in the next episode. [00:30:27] Speaker 2 And if you're looking for any practical guides to university, you can find them on the BCU website. There's also tons of information about our Student Support system as well. So thank you very much for listening.