My experience with mental health

Mental health affects many students at university. We spoke to a student studying a Bachelor of Information Technology about her study journey with mental health, and the support she sought to help her do the best she can in her degree and life.

How has your overall study experience been?

It was daunting at first, especially starting full-time study, after basically doing nothing for quite a few years.

But with the help of my friends and some coping mechanisms, I’ve picked up throughout the years. It’s becoming more and more interesting.

What is it like studying with anxiety?

It’s kind of like trying to swim with your feet stuck in a concrete block.

You desperately want to swim, or in this case, achieve the best that you can but something is keeping your feet from moving – freezing you in place. It’s really difficult to manage by yourself sometimes. 

What are the things that help you while studying?

My therapist has been a true legend in helping me with my coping mechanisms.

My friends that I’ve gained since coming to university are also an amazing group of people who I know I can fall back on if I’m having a rough time.

How did you find out about the Disability Services at Charles Sturt?

My therapist originally suggested finding out if there was some kind of service to assist my study efforts before I started, and then I found a link in the Student Portal. 

How has the Disability Service helped you in your studies?

The Disability Service really helped me by creating a Study Access plan that I can give to my lecturers that gives me special considerations (such as being able to bring something into exams with me to fidget with, which helps me focus).

During last session, having those considerations were undoubtedly the difference between me passing and failing.

Where do you see yourself after you finish studying?

I’m not too sure where I’ll end up – I’m hoping to find it out along the way. I’m mainly just following the wind and seeing where it takes me.

Do you have any tips or advice for other students?

Make time for yourself. If all you do is study (or worry about studying), you’re going to burn out fast.

Also, I know it’s been said a lot but if you find yourself struggling, talk to someone.

Want more information about the range of support Charles Sturt University’s Disability Services offers?