Student well-being at the University of Oulu
Reflect on yourself
For what felt like a long time during the pandemic, a time when everyone was just a phone call or a text away. I couldn't help but notice a deep, inkling feeling. On the one hand, I was studying the subjects I love, and I was meeting new people every day, having exciting projects to work on and getting time to focus on my self-care. On the other hand, my day was cluttered with scheduled meetings. Concentrating on my lectures and homework became somewhat fatiguing. I was starting to realise how very isolated I was feeling.
With all things in perspective, when I spent alone going through my daily tasks and chores, I did have the chance to face my problems and weaknesses.
I was able to find out a few new things about myself and, to an extent, reflect on what helps.
Build your strengths through relationships
I learned what was missing and what played a role in my academic experience. Whether in study or fun activities, I usually tend to feel more motivated when I have companions to work with.
I enjoy sharing experiences and getting to know how others think or feel. I appreciate being in groups a lot more than I used to. There is so much you can't replace with Zoom calls, like getting your hands dirty, or laughing together with friends, maybe making plans. Perhaps some group sports?
From a student perspective, I can understand the impact of these invisible challenges in learning. It can be surprising how much we often keep to ourselves. I still don't know if I am ready for the new normal. But I am willing to try. If you ever feel lonely or lost, I would like to share one reminder with you - Please don't forget to reach out!
It may be hard at first, or maybe you are too shy to talk to others but try approaching someone. Talk to your family, your teachers, your peers, friends and neighbours.
We, humans, build our strengths through relationships. There are plenty of resources at the University of Oulu that can help you as well.
Besides my master's thesis work, I am currently a student wellbeing tutor under the OYY wellbeing tutoring programme. It is meant for students' physical, mental, social, and emotional wellbeing in Finnish higher education. This programme helps me do many things I love, like, making friends, visiting places, cooking, playing table tennis, taking scenic walks, supporting my peers, and most importantly, improving my student experience at the University of Oulu.
Here are some links which I found helpful. You can read and learn to help yourself and others:
- The university's guidance services- Student well-being
Mental Hub, self-help tools for mental health and substance abuse issues
Nyyti ry, information, support and activities for the mental wellbeing of students and learning communities
About the author
Niyati Kandikanti from India is studying Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at the University of Oulu. She had never travelled abroad before coming to Oulu, and now her travel list has been growing ever since.