By Maddi Black

The time has finally arrived. You’ve finished the three-month long packing mission, successfully turned packing the car into a warped game of Tetris, and made it down the M25 in one piece. You’ve waved goodbye to tearful parents and sized up the rest of your flatmates, wondering when it’ll be socially acceptable to risk an alcoholic drink.

Now what? Freshers’ week will zoom by, and before you know it, you’re a fully-fledged first year student at Brunel. There’s so much to look forward to – starting your classes, making new friends and, of course, a bit of partying here and there. Starting university will be unlike anything you have ever experienced before. But it’s not all plain sailing. Many students find the jump from A Levels to a university degree challenging, owing largely to the level of independent study and organisation skills required. Not to mention the daunting prospect of living away from home. Homesickness is likely, but perfectly normal, and many may find their physical or mental health deteriorating in one way or another, and it is important that we recognise the help available for those who need it.

Medical Centre and Pharmacy Brunel University has both a medical centre and pharmacy on campus, allowing students access to a vast range of treatments on their doorstep. The Medical Centre has a daily walk in service for students between 11:30am and 1:15pm. For more info, call them on +44 (0)1895 234426. Remember to call 999 in a serious medical emergency, or call the NHS helpline 111 for less serious medical issues. Hillingdon Hospital also has A&E department for medical emergencies such as broken bones or head injuries.

Disability and Dyslexia Service For students with a physical or mental disability, the Disability and Dyslexia Service can provide advice, support and facilities both on campus and off campus. Make sure you register as soon as possible if you might need support, they’re located in the Bannerman Centre (The Library).

Counselling Brunel also provides a counselling service for students experiencing difficulties with university life. Whether it be stress, anxiety, depression or relationship difficulties, the counselling service can provide support for any student completely free. They also have a daily walk-in, which operates on a first-come, first-served basis, at 1:45pm. To book an appointment, call them on: +44 (0)1895 265070 or email them on: brunel-counselling@brunel.ac.uk.

Brunel Chaplaincy and Meeting House Furthermore, Brunel’s Chaplaincy, The Meeting House, is a place for students both religious and non-religious to explore faith and spirituality and to find comfort and support from others. There are multiple chaplains available for consultation, and students are invited to relax and take time out from studies to enjoy a free cup of tea or coffee. There are a number of faith-based and wellbeing activities to take part in here, including the very popular ‘Rabbit Café’ set up by senior Chaplain, the Reverend Sally Hitchiner.

Advice and Representation Centre For those students needing advice about finance, housing or academic issues, the university’s Advice and Representation Centre (ARC) can give free guidance to students who don’t know where else to turn. Drop-in sessions are always available, just call them on 01895 269 169 or visit them in the Hamilton Centre (Where Locos and Academy is)

This is just a snapshot of the ‘Well@Brunel’ initiative – Eat Well, Play Well, Study Well, Work Well and Feel Well. Brunel is committed to supporting its students in all that they do – so if you feel like you’re struggling, just remember: you are not alone.