Who can help?
First of all, your university, college, or conservatoire will have people you can talk to depending on what you need help with. This could be your academic or personal tutor, the student support team, the wellbeing team, and your students' union, among others.
Help with your mental health or wellbeing
Wellbeing services team
Depending on your university, this may have a different name. They are a great source of information about what support you can get at university, from general wellbeing support to help with a specific mental health condition or difficulty.
Check the website for the wellbeing pages, and explore whether they offer access to apps, tools, resources or other online services to students at your university.
Mental health advisers
Many universities have a mental health adviser who can help students connect to the best support for their needs or situation. Usually, you will be able to contact the mental health adviser through the student services team or the wellbeing team – and you don’t have to wait until you arrive. If you have any questions or concerns, it’s a great idea to drop them a line before you start the course.
Student Space is a new online hub from Student Minds to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here you can find resources such as:
expert advice and information about looking after your mental health and wellbeing
a range of one-to-one support services via phone, webchat, text or email
tailored support for specific groups of students
details of the support available at your university
Students’ own stories of responding to the challenges of the pandemic
Find out what student mental wellbeing support is available for you.
1.8 million students can now access free, safe, and anonymous mental health support online (providing NHS services).
Problems with your course or provider
Academic – if you're struggling or not enjoying the course, speak to a tutor.
- They might have good advice or a helpful solution.
- Maybe you could swap courses without losing time or credit.
Accommodation – if you're having trouble, you might be able to sort out an alternative.
- If it's a problem in halls, the accommodation office might be able to help.
- Try your student support service if it's a private landlord.
Legal – if it's a problem with the course provider, you can get free legal advice through your students' union.
- Some have a legal information centre you can go to.
- They might have a weekly drop-in centre with a qualified professional you can talk to.
Students come from all sorts of backgrounds, so there’s lots of help available in higher education to ensure everyone can succeed in their studies and make the most of their time at university. Whether you are dealing with difficult family circumstances, juggling conflicting priorities, or need support with an impairment or learning difference, the student services team is an excellent place to start if you need support or advice on a whole range of issues, and check the website for more information.
More information for students with individual support needs is available here.
Universities usually have some funds available for students who find themselves in difficult financial situations, and some offer bursaries and grants to those who are in need (e.g. care experienced students or those estranged from their parents). Many offer money management courses/workshops and have advisers who will help you work out any problems.
If you are trying to find part-time employment, the university may be able to provide you with a list of local vacancies or give you advice on where to look.
If you are not sure where to get help, speak to student support services or the students’ union.
Health – many course providers have their own medical centres you can go to, or they will be able to advise you about local doctors.
- If there's anything that affects your studies, let your tutor or adviser know as soon as you can.
Missing home? Don't worry – most students go through this.
- Moving away from home is a massive change, so it’s only natural that you might be missing your family and friends.
- Try to get involved in campus life and explore clubs and societies that will help you to meet people with similar interests.
- If you are really struggling, consider speaking to a counsellor – they might have advice to help you get used to your new surroundings.
Student Minds has produced 'Know Before You Go' and 'Transitions' guides to help you navigate university life and settle into your new lifestyle. You'll find lots of advice and information on topics such as paying bills, study skills, housemate issues, identity questions – and, of course, how to maintain good mental health and seek help as needed.
Open University Wales, Welsh higher education providers and Welsh Government have also collaborated to assemble a collection of resources to help you get started with all aspects of higher education, wherever in the UK you plan to study.
Thinking about leaving?
- Speak to family, friends, tutors, advisers, or support staff to figure out what you want to do.
- Make sure you know what all your options are before you make any decision – you may be able to change course or provider, take a year out, or change to part-time or distance learning.
- If you do decide to leave, don't feel like you've failed – remember you've taken the time to think it over, and it's what feels right for you.
- Consider what else you might like to do – you could apply for another course in the future, become an apprentice, take a gap year, or move straight into employment. With such a wide variety on offer, chances are you'll find something else to get inspired and enthusiastic about.
- If you decide to reapply through UCAS in the future remember you will need to complete a new application – you can't reuse your previous one.