Navigating Student Mental Health Challenges: Preparing for the New Academic Term

As the new academic term commences, a wave of excitement and anticipation fills the air for many students. This marks the onset of new beginnings, fresh opportunities, and a chance to embrace academic growth. However, for a significant number of students, the start of a new term also brings forth mental health challenges. Drawing from my own experiences as an international student, I am contemplating the mental health challenges commonly encountered by students, reflecting on both my personal journey and the shared challenges faced by many.

  1. Academic Pressure and Expectations

One of the primary stressors for students is the academic pressure. Personally, I’ve felt the weight of academic pressure at the start of each term. The struggle to balance coursework, exams, assignments, and extracurriculars can be overwhelming. The desire to excel academically or meet personal expectations can lead to performance anxiety, significantly impacting mental well-being.

The weight of academic expectations can indeed be immense. I’ve experienced sleepless nights and overwhelming anxiety. It’s crucial to find a balance and set achievable goals. And it’s okay to ask for help when the pressure becomes too much. Considering forming study groups or joining academic support programs offered by your institution to share the workload and seek assistance when needed. Personally, I’ve also tried exploring mindfulness and stress-relief techniques such as meditation and deep breathing, which I found to help manage stress quite effectively.

  1. Social Isolation and Transition Challenges

For many students, beginning a new term may involve transitioning to a new campus, city, or even a different country. It’s like starting all over again, building new relationships and finding my place in this vast sea of unfamiliarity. The fear of the unknown and the pressure to fit in can be emotionally challenging, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Moving to a new place can indeed be intimidating, and adapting to a fresh social environment takes time. Trust me, there are loads of people feeling the same way as you are. Don’t block yourself; try to engage in campus activities and seek out support networks. Reach out to your university’s student services to discover clubs, organisations, or support groups that align with your interests, making it easier to connect with like-minded individuals. If you are struggling a lot, considering counselling is an essential step to get through these emotional challenges that come with the transition.

  1. Balancing Work and Studies

Like many students, I’ve worked part-time to cover some living expenses. Budgeting, managing finances, and balancing work commitments with academic responsibilities is tiring, both physically and mentally.

Even though it can be challenging to prioritise your physical and mental health during a busy academic term, establishing a routine that incorporates time for exercise, a healthy diet, and moments of relaxation is crucial for maintaining a balanced life. Consider creating a schedule that accounts for study hours, work shifts, and self-care; it has helped me find that balance. And again, don’t hesitate to seek advice from career advisors at your institution on how to effectively manage your work-study balance while prioritising your well-being.


In conclusion, seeking support from peers, guidance from supervisors or student advisors, and opting for counselling sessions has helped me work through and deal with these stresses. Remember not to push yourself too hard; your well-being matters, and you need a healthy body and mind to excel in your academic study. You are not alone on this journey, and reaching out for support is a sign of strength. Stay proactive in taking care of your mental health, and you’ll be better equipped to navigate the academic term and achieve success in both your studies and personal life.

Blog author:

Stephanie Chen


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