University can be absolutely brilliant. There are so many new people to meet and countless opportunities to grab hold of with both hands, often coupled with the amazing new-found independence of living away from home. However, all those things which can make uni so brilliant can also make it incredibly physically, emotionally and mentally straining. Sometimes in life this is just unavoidable – but there are ways to help you cope when things get difficult. Over the next five weeks on the blog I’ll be running a series entirely focused on keeping healthy at university. I’m not a health professional; these posts are based on my own experiences. Today I’m looking at improving your mental health during your studies.

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Happy New Year! Welcome to 2017 on Lightly We Go. Scrolling through my Bloglovin’ and Twitter feeds I’ve seen quite a few people talking about how something feels particularly good about this year. I’m not sure what it is either, but I’m feeling it too. The start of last year was very difficult for me personally, but as time went on it got better and better and I’m hoping that 2017 will follow in the same trend. But of course that won’t happen just by magic! So I thought it was time to set some goals that I hope to focus on and achieve over the next twelve months.

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I can draw a thick black line down the almost-centre of twenty-sixteen. On one side of the line is a blurred and shadowy smudge of stress and sadness, and on the other a crisp flurry of memories all bright and gleaming like champagne under Christmas lights. I can pinpoint the exact moment everything started to get better. There’s something quite miraculous about the fact that I can look back now and think, that was a great year for me, because the first half was the complete opposite – but in truth it has been a year of transformation and uphill climb towards something which I’ve always hoped for. And now for the very first time, on the last day of this particularly remarkable year which, for better or for worse, most of us will never forget, I feel like the summit might finally be within reach. But that’s all to come, and it starts tomorrow. For now, here’s my illustrated look back on the past twelve months.

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We’ve all been there – you’re happily enjoying your break from school, college or university, chilling at home with family or off travelling with friends, when all of a sudden there’s just a week or two left of break and you’ve two assignments to complete, a three-page reading list to work through and those looming exams to revise for. It’s easily done but won’t be taken as a valid excuse for not getting everything done – so I’m here to help you get all that work done in time for the start of next semester. Here are my three key steps to getting on top of things:

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