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Reggie Responds #18

Welcome to Reggie Responds! Our advice column is taken over by Positive Peers this month, as part of Take Time In, which is KCLSU’s campaign on 4-21 May to support positive wellbeing for students online during this exam period.

Q: I booked accommodation for next year, but I’m still scared of what will happen with the pandemic. On top of that, the building is in Zone 3 and I’m terrified that I’ll have to take the tube every day, which I’m not used to doing anymore. I really need some reassurance that everything will be fine, that I wasn’t stupid to book it so early…Everything is just so confusing right now.

Josefina: Uncertainty is always scary, and I completely understand what you’re feeling right now. This pandemic has been difficult for everyone, and just as it took us time to find ways to cope during lockdown, it will also take time for us to readjust and find our way as things open up again. Fear and anxiety are an expected response, so your feelings are completely valid. We all process our emotions differently, so don’t be afraid to go at your own pace.

I can’t promise you that everything will be okay again in the next academic year because situations are constantly changing, but you can focus on the present and do the best with what you have today. It is important to celebrate the small wins and appreciate the good things, too. Sometimes we worry so much about the future that we neglect our needs and wellbeing in the present. Try to keep a focus on the moment and find activities that help you achieve this. Maybe you could try meditating through yoga, going on a walk, talking to someone you trust, or anything else that helps you stay mindful.

There will be a lot of things out of our control, but the best thing you can do is to prepare and have an action plan for the things you can manage and do today. Ask if your accommodation booking can be canceled in case things change, or maybe find out the least busy or off-peak times to travel. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it, we’re all in the same boat!

Q: I have some ongoing mental health issues that affect my everyday life. Because of them, I don’t have it in me to put in as many hours or work as much as it’s conventionally required every day. I’m okay with that, I want my mental health to be a priority, but I’m afraid that I’m unfit for both the university system and the job market, and I have no idea how to manage this or to keep up with everyone else.

Chloe: I understand that university can be very overwhelming, especially now with all the uncertainty during this ongoing pandemic. You might find yourself unable to catch up with all the readings, or you are behind on lectures. It’s important, at times like these, to not compare your progress to other fellow students. Everyone will be at a different pace and theirs might not work for you.

If you find that you are struggling with your course due to personal issues, always know that you can reach out to your personal tutor and/or the module convenor(s). Let them know your situation, and they can provide advice and guidance on things like how to approach the readings, or what you can prioritise in order to keep up with the course. The Counselling and Mental Health Support Service at King’s can provide free one-on-one counselling and mental health sessions, if needed. Student Space is also a good resource for advice and information on mental wellbeing and student support. Just know that you are not alone in this, and that you can always talk about your struggles with someone else.

It’s great to hear that you want to take care of your mental health, that’s progress in itself! You understand what you need. In terms of managing your workload, try not to exhaust yourself if you can’t complete all the readings before a class. You can start with setting small and achievable goals for yourself. If you are unable to complete it all in one day, try spreading out your workload to two days, or use some of your reading week to catch up. Your priority is your mental health, so find your own pace and what works best for you.

If you want to submit a question, you can do so here.

If you’d like to pick up more tips and tricks to look after your wellbeing, join the Positive Peers’ Thrive sessions! You can also check out the Positive Peers website and the KCLSU Wellbeing Hub to explore what’s on offer.

Chloe Xiao
Josefina Martinez

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