How to be a happier student

18 Oct 2017,
By Unite Students, Staff writer at The Common Room

Here are six key findings from our 2016 national student survey, which shed a little light on how to love life at uni.

1. Make friends

Although it might be hard at first, forming good friendships at university makes a big difference – 54% of students who said they had great uni mates also rated themselves as happy with their life in general.

How to do it: If you're not a social butterfly - or you‘d describe yourself as naturally shy - read Community: 6 Ways to get to know your neighbours.

2. Create a peaceful home

If you get on with your flatmates, you're less likely to think about dropping out of uni. Similarly, many students who've considered quitting did not have a good relationship with their flatmates.

How to do it: You might become best friends in time, but all you really need for now is to get along peacefully. Take a few steps to improve your relationships and set some ground rules.

3. Be more resilient

Failure is an inevitable, and necessary, part of life. It teaches you important lessons about how to improve and succeed. Happier students are able to bounce back quicker from failure. If you don't do as well as you hoped, don't beat yourself up - look for the lessons you can learn and try again.

How to do it: Students who set goals appear happier than students who don't, so next time you want to achieve something, make it your goal and stick to it.

4. Monitor your reactions

Students who panic are less happy and more prone to wanting to drop out. 71% of unhappy students said they panic under pressure compared with just 34% of the happiest students. 17% also said that overreacting has damaged their relationships.

How to do it: Being mindful of your reactions and taking time to consciously relax could make you happier. Find out how.

5. Don't splash the cash

Around two-thirds of students plan to have weekly spending limits, but only a third actually stick to them - almost 40% regularly overspend. Worrying about overdrafts, rent and food shopping isn't fun, but those who set spending limits are less worried than those who don't.

How to do it: Learning to budget is really useful and can save you time and money as it encourages you to plan ahead.

This friend is your replacement mum at uni.

6. Reach out for help

Students who seek help tend to fare better than those who struggle in silence. Nearly half the students who said they were unhappy felt they couldn’t turn to uni support staff for help, compared with a third of happy students who felt they could.

Reaching out to family and friends is also more beneficial than dealing with problems alone, so try to avoid bottling things up.

How to do it: Your university's support services and your Unite Students team are always here for you. If you'd prefer to be anonymous, or if you’d like to talk out of hours, you can call Nightline.

Make the most of your experience and the resources that are available to you - and remember, you're not alone.

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By Unite Students
Staff writer at The Common Room