How to Prepare for University with a Mental Illness


Going to a university is a major moment in any person’s life. No matter what the circumstances, which university you attend, or how far you are from home, there are always going to be certain challenges to overcome. For most students it will be their first time staying away from home for an extended period. It is only natural that even the most adventurous student would find this difficult. However, some students are affected by these challenges more than others.

For students who suffer from a mental illness, these challenges are going to be more difficult to face. However, with the right preparation beforehand, you can get all the help and support you need in order to take control of your mental illness and minimise the disruption it causes to your time at university.

Check Accommodation Before You Apply

The type of accommodation you stay in while you are at university will have a considerable impact on how comfortable and at ease most students feel while they are there. It is therefore worth ensuring that any universities you are considering applying to have nearby accommodation suitable for your individual needs.

If you are someone who gets claustrophobic, or who prefers to have as much of their own personal space as possible, you will want to avoid halls of residence. Some people find the best way of overcoming their fears is to dive in at the deep end. For those people, staying in halls might help you to overcome any of your anxiety issues.

But this approach is not for everyone. A great example of what high-end options are available can be seen with these Collegiate AC student accommodation options in Derby. Their accommodation is high-end and provides a level of comfort that can be a great help to sufferers of certain mental illnesses. They’re simple, spacious and are located right in the city which makes getting around straight forward.

Make Your Medical Arrangements Before You Go

Once you know exactly which university you will be attending, it’s a good idea to get all of your medical needs taken care of before you go. Speak to your current doctor about how you can make the transition as smooth and automatic as possible. If you are on medication, you don’t want a gap when you go to university because you haven’t arranged to transfer your prescriptions.

Your current GP will often be happy to give you a couple of weeks or months’ worth of medication in advance before you leave for uni. This will leave you with plenty of time to make new arrangements once you are there.

Manage Your Finances Carefully

This is something that is difficult for many mental illness sufferers. Mental illness often makes financial management more complicated in a number of ways. For example, bipolar sufferers can sometimes make spontaneous financial decisions, including making a large number of purchases in a short space of time during manic episodes. In other cases, mental illness can make people want to spend their money self medicating with drugs and alcohol, or using gambling to chase a rush. Maintaining your finances carefully will help to reduce the stress that comes with running into cash flow problems.

Of course, many students with mental illnesses who attend university are able to cope just fine! But it is still worth taking extra care to minimise your stress. Think about what the specific triggers for your illness are and how you can develop plans for minimising your exposure.

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