I felt out of my depth at university

Third year student Charlotte told us about her fresher experience, and why she urges people to talk to someone if they need support.

“I’d moved from Stockport to study at Liverpool University. I think people underestimate how overwhelming it can be to leave home for the first time. The reality didn’t really sink in until my mum and dad left and I sat surrounded by my belongings in a room that was completely unfamiliar.

Despite feeling constantly nervous I threw myself into everything, going out with my new flatmates, joining societies. But I felt out of my depth. I couldn’t go a single day without getting upset and questioning whether I was capable of doing my degree. I ran up a £180 phone bill in the first few weeks from calling my mum.

It wasn’t until the day I broke up for Christmas that I decided to get help. I spoke to a university counsellor about how anxious I’d been feeling. The session wasn’t long, but being able to talk to someone who wasn’t family (they probably missed me as much as I missed them), really put things into perspective.

Despite the constant debates I’d had with myself about staying or leaving my course I decided to go back for the new semester. I honestly believe that if I hadn’t spoken to someone that day about how I was feeling, I wouldn’t have returned to university and made the amazing friends that I now have. I’d advise anyone to do the same.”

Mersey Care’s Talk Liverpool provides face to face, telephone or online support to students or anyone registered with a Liverpool GP. Sessions for students run at Liverpool University, John Moores University and Hope University campuses.

For more information about Talk Liverpool call: 0151 228 2300 or go online at: talkliverpool.nhs.uk

Talk Liverpool is a free NHS talking therapy service for people registered with a Liverpool GP.

Settling in Tips

  • Leave your door open while you’re unpacking in your room, or hang a friendly sign from it
  • Keep a stash of biscuits or teabags for group situations - you’ll instantly be loved!
  • Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself randomly to somebody you’re standing in line with or sat next to
  • Exchange numbers with people on your course and agree to go to lectures together - this sets you up for academic as well as social success!
  • Listen to music to fill the silence
  • Wear comfy, familiar clothes
  • Do something familiar – read a favourite book or watch an old TV series
  • Make a drink in your favourite mug
  • Find more tips at studentminds.org.uk National Union of Students also offers support at nus.org.uk