Life is pretty different at the moment. There are restrictions on being able to meet friends in person, a lot more students are studying off-campus and we’re faced with the challenge of adapting to new situations. This has an undeniable effect on how we socialise and means it’s totally valid to be feeling more alone or isolated than normal.
That’s why we’re launching our ‘Reach out, check in’ campaign with a very simple message: to encourage you to reach out and check in on those around you. Contacting a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while takes five minutes out of your day but can make the world of difference.
In a recent survey carried out by the SU, 68% of respondents stated that not being able to see their friends was one of the most challenging things about being a student during this time - we understand this has a huge impact on many of you. It’s so important that you keep in touch with friends, albeit if that is virtually for the moment. Starting a conversation can be as simple as speaking about a new TV series you think your friend might like or checking in on how their course is going.
Throughout this campaign, we’ll be sharing resources and ideas you may find useful and regular reminders to check in on those around you, as well as sharing your top tips and stories! Want to get involved? Check out @reachoutuonsu on Instagram and stay up to date with the campaign!
Here’s a selection of resources which you may find useful as starting point;
- Student Minds have put together some handy tips on starting a conversation with a friend which can be found here
- ‘Look after yourself; look after community’ is a campaign launched earlier this year by the SU to encourage us to look after not only ourselves during this uncertain time, but those around us. Find out more here.
- Your Students’ Union has put together a Wellbeing Guide detailing information about SU, University and external services and support that are available to all students
- Check out this University Guide for helping support a friend in difficulty
- Movember have created a tool where you can practice having difficult conversations with friends, use the tool here.
- UoN Welfare Network are here to signpost you to the different options of support and services available, get in touch with them on Facebook at ‘UoN Welfare Network’ or Instagram
- Mind have put together guidance around supporting a friend as well as some handy conversation starters
Emily Coleman – Welfare and Wellbeing Officer