Starting university can be a daunting time for many students, especially for those who are moving away from home for the first time, often to new cities, and for some – new countries. Whilst moving away from home can be seen as a vital learning curve or right of passage, it can be a stressful time for some, as they adjust to their new way of living and get to know their peers.

Moving to university comes with added pressure for students this year, as the COVID-19 pandemic adds a new layer of uncertainty to learning and living arrangements; we’re hearing stories of students self-isolating in university halls, and of Christmas plans put on hold.

PAPYRUS is here for any student who might be struggling right now. You can call us seven days of the week, 365 days of the year on 0800 068 4141 – our dedicated team of suicide prevention advisers are here for you.

In the meantime, here are some self-care tips and tricks for students self-isolating.

Remember that you are not alone

It’s incredibly important to remember that you’re not alone at the moment. If you’re a first-year university student who has moved away from home for the first time, the chances are that the other people in your flat or halls are in the same boat as you. Take some time to get to know the people you’re living with, or seek out like-minded peers on university Facebook groups. Sharing your worries with somebody in the same situation as you can be beneficial for our mental wellbeing. Remember that PAPYRUS is also here for you if you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide.

Take some time to check your mental and physical health

There are plenty of exercises and breathing routines that you can do whilst confined to your room or flat that can work wonders for your mental and physical health. Head to YouTube where you will find lots of free workout videos, whether it’s Pilates or plank challenges, there are tonnes that you can get involved in.

Create a calming space

Take some time to organise your room and make it a calm space that you want to spend time in. Whether it’s buying some new plants or colour coding your bookshelf, there are lots of things that you can do to make your room a calm tranquil place that you want to spend time in.

Have fun
One of the big draws for many people starting university is the fun factor. Whilst Freshers week might have been a little different this year, there are plenty of ways that you can still have fun with those around you. Organise a quiz with the other people in your flat, or do something creative together such as drawing, painting or dancing. Get in touch with your university tutors, they will be able to point you in the direction of online events and activities that your university will be organising for students who are isolating in halls and flats.

Check-in with friends and family back home

Checking in regularly with friends and family back home is extremely beneficial for those who might be feeling a little homesick or alone at the moment. Having somebody to talk to outside of your student accommodation is a great way of expanding your world whilst you’re confined to your room or flat.

Remember that this won’t last forever

This won’t last forever. Things might feel isolating, lonely and strange at the moment, but there are people out there who can help to share the burden. One of the most important things that you can do is share how you’re feeling with people you love and trust.

And remember, HOPELINE247 is here for any student or young person who might be struggling right now. You can call us from 9am to midnight, seven days per week, on 0800 068 4141, text 88247 or email

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