HURU invited Grace Anderson, at Student Minds, to give us their advice for students finding it hard to juggle finances with other stresses. For every new house that signs up to HURU this summer, using the code SMINDS20, HURU will donate £20 to this excellent cause. 

University can be amazing, but often not talked about are the challenges of such a transition. Living independently for the first time, academic demands, adapting to new support structures, and being far from home are all noted as key stress factors for new students. With 75% of mental health difficulties (such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders) developing in mid-twenties, increasing amounts of students are struggling with their studies, dropping out of university due to lack of support, and in rare cases taking their own lives.

This is why Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity empower students and members of the university community to look after their own mental health, support others and create change. As we grow we’re seeing more students open up about their mental health, the stigma of mental health difficulties being challenged at universities, and more students learning skills and becoming confident to support friends.

Student Finance

Students experiencing a mental health difficulty may find that they feel isolated, anxious about their ability to manage their finances and unable to make informed financial decisions.

If you are living independently for the first time and struggling to manage your finances, it can be difficult to balance where to spend money on food, bills and activities. Many students find it difficult to cover their costs with their maintenance grant alone, and have to work to help get by…

“I soon found myself trying to balance my studies with an underpaid part-time job to be able to fulfil my ambitions, without sacrificing my entire social life” – Student

Research indicates that financial worries and mental health difficulties can influence each other: in some cases, experiencing financial worries can increase mental health difficulties and experiencing mental health difficulties can worsen ability to take care of finances.

Who can you talk to?

Managing your finances as a student can itself be difficult without the addition of mental health difficulties, however you can access a lot of support from your university as well as external organisations:

If you are struggling with your finances and mental health at university, starting a conversation can be incredibly helpful, but at the same time daunting – we rarely talk about money or mental health openly.

  • Check out Student Minds’ Look After Your Mate Guide for some great tips for starting a conversation with a friend
  • “Don’t feel like you’re in it alone, confide in friends or family members to talk about your financial problems. There’s no need to feel embarrassed” – Student

“Despite your financial worries, don’t stop enjoying your time at uni”  Please visit Student Minds’ webpage for more information about student finances.

Also published on Medium.