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Taking care of your mental health whilst studying

Amna smiling at the camera in Bush House courtyard
Amna Naseem
MSc Climate Change, Environment, Science and Policy student

03 October 2022

Hi there, I'm Amna and I have recently finished studying MSc Climate Change: Environment, Science, and Policy at King’s.

Being on a one-year master’s programme came with challenges. From the beginning I was required to quickly adapt to university life and keep up with the demands of the course. In doing so, I realised that some habits I cultivated throughout the year helped me push through the last stretch of my degree without compromising my mental health.

It's World Mental Health Day on Monday 10 October, and I wanted to share my tips on how to balance your mental health while at university. Skills like time management will also be useful for students transitioning into the working world, like myself!

Time management

Time management is key. During the academic year, I found it particularly useful to allocate time and create a to-do list for everyday tasks. This helped me compartmentalise priorities and achieve the small and big goals I had set for myself. In hindsight, had it not been for this small everyday task, I would have found keeping track of deadlines and achieving my goals more difficult.

Taking some time off

University life can at times be demanding. Therefore, it is important to take time off to look after your mental health. Don't feel like you must be on the ‘go’ all the time - it is just as important to take a break and let your body and mind recharge for your overall wellbeing. For me, practising this meant I had a better overall university experience.

Woman walking on the outskirts of a wood next to an empty road

Acknowledging your capacity

Don't take on more tasks than what you can handle and set realistic expectations. For example, I found it useful to structure my days by getting the boring or hard tasks out of the way early in the morning and to keep my evenings free to relax. This greatly helped me to ease into my days and allowed me to recognise my capacity for certain tasks.

Seeking help

Don’t be afraid to seek help. Reach out to your personal tutor if you are feeling overwhelmed on your personal or academic journey. Check out the resources from the Counselling and Mental Health Support Service at King’s andonline support from Togetherall, one of King's mental health partners. Our Faculty Wellbeing and Welfare Advisors are also here to help you during your studies. Connect with the team and check out their wellbeing e-module, which includes support services and resources available at King’s. 

Two people sat on a railing next to a river smiling and laughing

Connecting with peers

KCLSU Wellbeing also supports you to take care of yourself and get the best of your King’s experience, from using cinema for support to speaking with peers to feel better. You can also connect with other students through Black Students Talk, the Positive Peers, and student societies on maintaining your well-being. 

Reading Student news

Student news has some great articles in the wellbeing section, such as this recent article on disability support for students and how frequently visiting green spaces benefits our mental health written by me. 

I hope you find my tips helpful, and I wish you all the best of luck for the new academic year!