Produced by Linh Trinh
MA Marketing Communications
Studying abroad for many international students like me is a golden opportunity to discover my potential while bringing a number of significant changes. It can be enjoyable and full of delights, but it can also be challenging. Therefore, listening to your mind and taking care of your mental well-being is an essential experience for international students. Follow me on this blog to discover more about available mental health support that we can access whilst studying at BU.
Opportunities or challenges
In my culture, we barely talk about mental well-being and sometimes taking it for granted. Growing up, I have developed the mindset that if others can deal with that, why can’t I do that myself? Till now, I still vividly remember my 26-hour flight from Hanoi to London – one of the longest flights of my life, amidst the pandemic, in which I felt both excited and nervous about my upcoming journey in the UK. Little did I know of the enormous changes and stresses that would come to me in such a short time.
Self-quarantine, homesickness, deadlines, and culture shock where things I had read about before my journey, but I couldn’t imagine how they would make me feel until I experienced them all at once. It was a tough time. However, it also made me realise the reason why mental well-being has never been more important, especially for international students when they are away from home. Coping with new challenges can have an impact on your mental health, but there are also lots of things that you can do to make your time as a student more manageable and more enjoyable.
Prioritise your mental health and well-being
You are the one who knows yourself best. Therefore it is crucial to keep an eye on how you are doing. Even it is your sleep, your appetite, or particular behaviours, the sooner you are self-aware of your situation, the sooner you realise whether you need support from others or not.
What I did to take care of my mental well-being while being away from home is to speak with my family, friends, take a break from social media from time to time if it makes me feel worried, or just simply get some fresh air and keep hydrated whenever I can. Whilst your mental health is a priority, it is essential not to forget about looking after your physical health. The body and the mind are connected, so taking care of one will help the other.
Getting some sunlight and fresh air is an excellent way to clear our mind.
We should also keep in my mind that there is available support from BU whenever we need help. The Student Wellbeing service is open to all BU students who are experiencing stress, anxiety, or low mood, offering confidential, completely free support. It is a valuable source of support for us to seek someone to talk to when it’s a difficult time.
I understand mental health can be a heavy topic. Yet, I hope this article could raise some awareness among us to look after our mental well-being wherever and whenever possible. With the new semester already started and more exciting activities and journeys yet more deadlines and challenges to come, I wish you great health and a strong mind to welcome new changes ahead. Take care!