Everyone struggles when they move to uni – I was no exception. But what made my struggle different was having to juggle the newfound independence with a recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
Experiencing the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, sometimes within hours of each other, took its toll. Alongside strong medications that made me gain lots of weight in a short space of time, the juggle felt impossible to handle at times.
However, the Enabling Team at Aston are second-to-none, providing me with a weekly counsellor and a meeting with someone who helped me prioritise my time so even when I had no motivation to do anything, the structure of my week was there.
Having (and making) friends at Aston also helped. Having a social life in various groups and societies, such as LGBT+ (especially from the end of the first year) helped stabilise my mood and prevented me from getting too bored, which is a trigger for my mood to escalate.
The main thing for me about surviving living away from home for university with a mental health condition is that it IS possible. It may take that little bit longer to adjust, but it is achievable and it can be done.