Aaand we’re here.
Assessment period, season or, rather, an everlasting storm of frantic cramming. When we started a two year course for GCSEs/ A-levels/ Btecs I don’t think any of us thought we’d be assessed like this (and, if you did, scrap all career plans to make it as a fortune teller). The social, political and educational changes we’ve seen over the past two years have been absolutely immense… I mean, schools haven’t closed like this for over a hundred years. It’s not exactly been a twenty four month snow day though, has it? As we draw to the end of it all, I’ll be talking about what’s kept us more or less sane throughout this period- our mind!
One thing we can all agree on as we go into another week of lockdown is that it isn't always easy. No matter who you're with and where you are, there are days when it might just seem a little harder, and that's fine.
The same is happening to you, me, your guardian, your best friend, your favourite celebrity. Everyone. So don't worry about it. It's normal.
So how do we make sure we're looking after ourselves in these unexpected circumstances and make sure that we aren't going stir crazy all cooped up inside like battery hens (Remember to buy free range folks!)
Thankfully, we’re hearing more and more about mental health in our day to day lives. Whether that’s celebrities speaking up about their experiences or friends sharing their battles, charities fighting for funding or campaigns raising awareness, mental health is finally starting to get the airtime it deserves.
And we’re proud to be champions of mental health awareness and wellbeing – head to our Blog for content from mindfulness to social media detox to cyberbullying to the benefits of exercise.
But we know the world’s not perfect yet. Far from it. There are still lots of us who don’t feel able to speak up and get help when we’re struggling. And though statistically more women suffer with mental health problems than men, men are far less likely to seek out help until they reach crisis point.
It’s a nasty thing to think about, and is often the unspoken elephant in the room, but when a fifth of all young people are victim to it, how come bullying is still such a taboo subject?
A study conducted by charity, Ditch the Label, found that 1/5 young people have been subjected to physical, verbal and cyber bullying. And the worst part is that the figures are almost identical to what was found last year – change just isn’t coming fast enough.
Here at Push we’re always banging on about how great part-time work can be. And not just for the extra cash, but that’s a bonus all in itself. Bring on that wonga.
And there’s loads of other benefits, too.
Moving to a new area to study? You’ll meet loads of new people, make some new friends and being around locals is the best place to pick up insider info on all the best shopping and nightlife spots, best restaurants, top rated take aways, places to hit up and places to avoid. Pretty handy.
It’s come out from an OECD report into cyber related bullying that out of all the highly developed countries investigated, England has the highest rate of cyber bullying and social media misuse in its schools. Which is a pretty nasty stat.
The study looked at ‘the experiences of more than 250,000 teachers in 48 industrialised countries and regions’ and found a serious problem with the UK.
We’re lucky that mental health awareness is ever improving, and the stigmas and taboos are slowly being lifted. But that doesn’t mean we live in a perfect mental health utopia, so it’s important to look out for yourself and plan ahead if uni’s in the cards for you.
One of the most important things to do if you suffer with your mental health is to look out for universities who have a strong support network for students and their mental health issues.
It might be shocking to know, but 4 out of 5 people between the ages of 18 and 21 know someone who has experienced a mental health problem. A quarter of all people in the same age group are worried about the mental health of someone their age.
And, according to the NUS, among students, it’s an even more critical issue. 63% of university counselling services have reported an increase in psychological distress among students.
Do you know your bops from your balls? Or your CATS from your CUKAS?
Heading into the world of higher education can be like learning a new language – there's more jargon than you can shake a soc at. That's why we've created this handy glossary of all the weird and wonderful terms academics like to use. Let Push be your guide.
You'll need us. Honestly, it's a jungle out there.
With this year's exams behind you, you'll be pleased to know that uni isn't all about books, lectures and exams. We all know students get up to other stuff, right? And this other stuff is important when it comes to getting the most out of the whole university experience.
We all know there's a variety of ways to get things to stick in your head: texts books, spider diagrams, post-it notes, mind-palaces, reading out loud, singing your revision and even sleeping with your notes under your pillow (note: we have no proof of the last one...).
If you have a basic understanding of how memory works you can incorporate this into the way you revise.
So, it’s getting to the time of year where everyone’s asking the same, awful question: what are you going to do with your life?
Yuck. What a quick way to ruin the annual family barbecue.
If you’re panicking about the answer, or really just don’t know what you want, you’re not alone. Just remember that it’s your life, and your choices, so be certain that whatever you decide comes from a well-researched place. This is not the time to make a last minute panic decision, or just go along with whatever everyone else is doing or telling you to do.
There's never a better time to get yourself fighting fit, both mentally and physically, but we know it's often easier said than done.
Now, we don't know it all, but trust us when we say that Rome wasn't built in a day. Small, manageable changes are the best way to have a long-term impact on how you think and feel, so here's Push’s 5 top tips for maintaining good mental health.
Mental health is nothing to be sneered at, and it can be a big weight on the shoulders of the average young person. Push wants to hammer home just how crucial it is to let people in on how you feel.
Isolation from others and from the society around you is the biggest cause of mental illness developing. It has been proven that people who lack a sense of community in their lives (in other words, a support network on your doorstep) are more likely to experience mental illness.
Community experiences – however you get involved – give people a sense of self-worth, of belonging to something bigger than themselves
At Push, we tell it like it is. That means we say it's okay to get help if you feel overwhelmed, and your mental and physical health are suffering.
Dr Nihara Kruase, a consultant clinical psychologist highlights government funded research (ONS, UCL, NHS data) that found 1/4 girls and 1/10 boys have emotional problems including loneliness, self-hatred and feeling unloved.
If this sounds a little too familiar, don't panic. We're all in this together.
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We're always interested to hear from talented young writers, so if you'd like to feature as a guest author then hit us up for more details.