Is University Culture Healthy?
By Ellie Rochell
Freshers, second years, final years and masters alike, the culture of university can be incredibly toxic at times.
From move-in it’s booze, late nights and poor eating habits - I mean, don’t get me wrong I enjoyed my wild first and second year, making the most of every drink and dance. But once I started to question this thinking, that’s when the ball started to drop.
As a nerd by nature, allowing myself to forget about my assignments, miss lectures and care little about my degree didn’t go down well. This is something I probably didn’t realise at the time, but coasting my course never made me happy.
If you’re strong-willed enough to have realised this at the start of uni (congrats, you’re ahead of most people), it’s difficult to detach yourself from this way of life without being labelled ‘boring’ or ‘buzzkill’ - amongst a plethora of other names.
Not only can this way of thinking be damaging in general, those who avoid nightclubs because of past traumatic experiences or current anxiety are placed into an impossible position - fit in, or risk your own mental health?
So, how’d you do it?
Let yourself feel
Knowing when you truly want to go out is difficult but by listening to your gut you’ll probably be able to figure it out. If you’ve had an anxious day, don’t force yourself to go out with hopes it’ll make you feel better - sometimes we need time to feel our emotions and find out where to go from there.
Figure out what kind of ‘going out’ is for you
Not everyone loves nightclubs - and that’s normal. Maybe you prefer an evening spent at a jazz bar or the pub on the corner. Knowing a couple people who like similar things can really help. And if you don’t know anyone who does, look at Facebook groups and uni societies.
If you’re feeling left out by your flatmates, let them know. Now, I know this is a lot easier said than done, but you’ll feel a lot of relief. Maybe use it as an opportunity to suggest other nights out to try instead - something you’d be more comfortable with.