Dealing with Personal Issues | Stress Awareness Week

Dealing with Personal Issues | Stress Awareness Week

Emma Palmer


Alongside trying to balance your finances, get on with housemates and make friends, and complete assignments, you may also find yourself facing personal issues such as illness, bereavement and identity formation. It is easy to let it all get on top of you, or even try to ignore the problems and not address them, but fortunately help is available for this.



Coming to university is often seen as a chance to reinvent yourself, finally start doing what you want and grow. It can be difficult deciding who you want to be, and you may struggle trying to find yourself, and honestly it’s normal to feel a bit lost whilst this goes on.

It may be that you are trying to fit in with a new group of friends, who do activities that don’t interest you, or you are trying to fit the personality of who you’ve always wanted to be, but it isn’t working.

If you are struggling with “finding yourself”, it’s important to remember that self-love is a journey not a destination, and you will eventually grow into who you’re meant to be without trying. That’s not to say that it won't be difficult as you discover what you do and don’t like, and it may take years of changing your style, your friends, and your cultural consumption. But have faith that, without sounding too cheesy, things will work out and right now just enjoy being YOU. Do what you want and what you enjoy, and over time the stress lessens and you become happier.



For some, you will have a chronic illness which you have to contend with whilst at university. This can be something mental or physical, and it’s important to remember you may not always see this. For those who live with this, stress can revolve around how their illness will affect everyday life, academic success and employability.

Take each step at a time, and don’t be ashamed should you need help. The university offers learning support plans to make your learning accessible, as well as working with student finance to offer DSA (disabled students allowance), which can help provide you with technology to assist learning. Also, many academics will understand if you are struggling, and won’t require an explanation, but will support you as best they can. You can apply for exceptional circumstances, which gives you extra time on assignments and can be found on the YSJ website.


Trauma and Bereavement

Experiencing something traumatic such as assault, or loss of a loved one, can have a seriously detrimental effect on your wellbeing, often leading to stress. Sometimes, PTSD can develop, and manifest in many different forms. If this is the case, seeking help from the wellbeing team is advised as they can offer specific coping mechanisms and the appropriate support for such issues.

As with all types of stress, talking about your situation or emotions can help, as can having a conversation with anyone about anything to try to take your mind off it. Within the Students’ Union, we can offer advice and signposting, as well as some assistance with certain issues, although none of us are trained in wellbeing.


Should you be struggling with stress, check out the links below for some self-help tips, or visit the wellbeing team’s page to book a chat with one of their advisors.

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