It can often be a tough time being a student, especially leading up to exam season. Stress levels among those in higher education are soaring, with 82% stating they suffer from stress and anxiety. More of a concern is one in five have experienced suicidal feelings, but only a quarter who have these thoughts said that they’d seek help.

Here, we look at how important student support is alongside Newcastle College who were recently praised for their support facilities in the latest results from the Ofsted inspection at Newcastle College. The report stated: “The staff across the group provide learners with effective information, advice and guidance.”

Help with peer pressure

Research has found that social media is an area of concern for the younger generation. It can cause feelings of inadequacy in 14 – 24-year-olds and enhance anxiety levels. This can have devastating effects if it is left unchecked, so it’s crucial that education institutes offer support in this area. Being able to talk to students on a personal level is key to providing positive student support as you must be able to relate to how they are feeling.

Careers advice

While we go to university or an institute for higher education in an attempt to follow a certain career path, we don’t always know exactly what it is we’d like to do. This support system often comes in the form of a careers adviser who can discuss your options with you throughout your journey. By discussing potential pathways with someone who can provide you with specialist career information, you should end up having a clearer and more focused outlook on what to do post-study, which in turn will help you be more relaxed.

An area to escape

Stress is a natural feeling that can occur in challenging situations. Signs of stress include sleep problems and irritability, while too much stress can lead to bigger issues, including anxiety and depression. A suitable student support system can work as a way to help students escape from such feelings. The professional help that it offers means that you don’t have to struggle alone. Doing so will not only affect your academic performance, but also your personal health too.

Helpful lifestyle materials

A good student support system will provide you with the tools necessary to improve your circumstances, whether that’s in the form of counselling sessions or referrals to self-help materials.  Both our bodies and minds can become unwell and having specific material readily at hand can help us get back on our feet quickly. It must be noted that, it’s not simply good enough at times to plan in helpful meetings. For some, they need the help there and then and a good student support will make sure there are clear avenues you can go to if they themselves aren’t available when you need them.

Financial assistance

Of course, university can be costly. Without taking living allowances into consideration, last year it cost a student in England in the region of £9,250 each year. With the average course being three years long, many find themselves racking up huge debts before they graduate. This too can cause stress levels to rise, so it’s important that the university offer students enough support. This can range from simple advice, to help in receiving loans and bursaries.

Chaplaincy and faith advice

For many, faith is a huge part of life and if you move to a new city for your education, it may sometimes be tough to incorporate your faith into your new lifestyle and location. That’s why many organisations offer a chaplain service in which you can talk to a chaplain for advice, encouragement and prayer.

This service can even stretch to arranging groups to meet in the Chaplaincy and organising events and discussion groups. By feeling comfortable in your place of education, you will feel far more at ease and happier in your everyday life. That’s why it’s important for institutes to aid this and remove some pressure.

It’s clear that your time in education can be a demanding period. That’s why it’s so important for any institute you attend to offer as much support and guidance as possible.