How to Cope with Grief at University

Sarah Chisnallon 28 September 2018
How to Cope with Grief at University

Dealing with loss, in any form, is extremely difficult, especially with the added pressure of looming exams and trying to maintain the social life that's expected to come hand-in-hand with university. Here are some tips to help deal with grief...

Loss can come to us in many different forms and often in very unexpected ways and there are many people who have to deal with it whilst at University. It could be through the death of a loved one, or even the loss of a meaningful relationship, not to mention the empty feeling of loss you might feel at leaving home for the first time. Whatever form it takes, the grief that such events can cause can make you feel incredibly isolated and struggling to cope, especially with the added pressure of trying to maintain your grades and social life. However, there are things you can do to that can help you deal with the pain you might be experiencing.

Don’t shy away from offers of help

It's a totally normal thing to want to be alone when dealing with a loss but try not to isolate yourself completely from others. Remember that you are not a burden and when your friends ask you how you are, they mean it. Don’t be afraid to be honest – you’ll find that most people are incredibly understanding.

Two girls walking with their arms round each other

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

It is important to let your university know what has happened, especially if you believe it may affect your studies. Dealing with grief whilst trying to keep up with life at university is hard and there is no shame in asking for help. Whether this means reaching out to friends or family, or seeking more professional advice, if you feel like you’re not coping, SEEK HELP! It can come in any form, but it’s important to be aware of the services available at your own uni - Nightline, for example, is a well-known organisation which offers support to people who just want to talk.

Do some research

Going online and simply Googling grief advice will open up a myriad of information to help you out. Reading up on grief and the grieving process will help you to understand and identify what you’re going through. Online forums and groups of other young people who are experiencing a similar thing may also be available and help you to realise that you are not the only person who is suffering whilst gaining support from those who are going through the same thing.

Man on computer

Look after yourself and stay healthy

People process their loss in different ways and no one’s experience will be exactly the same. When dealing with loss and grief, your emotions can feel so huge, doing simple things like getting out of bed in the morning can feel like too much. On the other hand, it is also not uncommon for people to try to distract themselves from their pain in other unhealthy ways. This works with the research point, but making yourself aware of the grieving process and how others deal with it will help you to become more self-aware and make sure that you are keeping yourself healthy.

Just keep going…

This final point might seem obvious, or it might even seem very difficult but, remember to keep going. You can keep it simple; as said in the previous point, just focus on staying healthy. Remember to eat proper meals and talk to your friends when you feel you can. Just moving through the simple everyday activities of life can help and time, as said by all, will make things easier. Take things at your own pace and never forget the precious value of life.

Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations sign

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Sarah Chisnallon 28 September 2018