Each month Jenni Hastings, the Advice Coordinator at Liverpool Guild of Students, will be answering your questions and offering advice. 

Dear Jenni,

I’ve just started University and this is my first time away from home. I was really excited to come to Liverpool however, now that I’m here, I’m starting to struggle. Everyone around me seems to be having the time of their lives but I just can’t seem to settle in. I’ve also had a history of depression which is making it really difficult for me to concentrate on my studies.

1st year Maths student

Thank you for getting in touch and I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having a difficult time. It is completely normal to take a while to adapt to student life and everyone settles in at different rates. Have you spoken to anyone about how you’re feeling? If you don’t feel
you can confide in your family or friends then you could try your Academic Adviser or, if you live in halls, your Residential Adviser. There’s also the University’s Counselling Service which many students find helpful when going through a tough time.

If you suffer from depression (or indeed any mental health issue), the University has a Mental Health Adviser who can be contacted on 0151 794 2320 or mentalhealthadviser@liv.ac.uk. You can also contact the Disability Support Team to see if there are any reasonable adjustments which can be made, such as extra time during exams, to ensure you’re able to reach your full academic potential.

Mental health issues can often be made worse by the illusion that everyone around you is having an amazing time. You should remember, however, that one in four people suffer from mental health difficulties and so you are certainly not alone.