What to remember if you have had a tough day at university


Sometimes things can get overwhelming and feel impossible to deal with whilst at university. I have certainly felt pushed to the limit many times, have often felt under pressure and faced a lot of difficult days and times whilst at university. However, despite this I have managed to develop my mental strength and resilience. In this article, I share four things I have learnt which have helped me significantly.

1) Difficult days can help you develop as a person

University is challenging. Every student has to manage constant deadlines, career planning, finances, as well as other responsibilities and commitments. As a result, you probably will be pushed out of your comfort zone, which will lead to some days being extremely demanding and difficult. However, by reflecting on these difficult days and finding strategies to overcome them, you will be able to learn a lot, and develop as a person. In my specific case, even though I have faced several challenges and difficult times regarding my mental health, this has also helped me build my ability to be resilient and adapt to tough situations.

2) There is always something good in every day

Sometimes when things are difficult, it is very easy to think that the world is against you and it is impossible to see the bright side. However, one thing that has helped me to deal with my current challenges recently is positive thinking, and trying to see what went well in the day rather than focus purely on the negatives. For example, this could be making small progress towards a long-term goal, something simple such as making someone smile, or even learning from a mistake that you have made. Not every day will be amazing, but thinking about all the good things that have happened in the day as well as what you have learnt will help you stay determined and motivated.

3) Taking things one day at a time can be so beneficial 

Remembering to take things one day at a time can make such a difference, especially at times when you feel overwhelmed. Previously, one of the biggest mistakes that I made was expecting my mental health to magically improve overnight and beating myself up when it didn’t. Nothing extremely fulfilling in life happens overnight, and sometimes it’s how you deal with the journey that can make a big difference. A simple yet effective way to deal with bad days in a positive light is to think about ways you can make the next day better and remembering that even making small progress and improvements every day will accumulate in the long run.

4) The rewards are sweeter if you have overcome challenges 

You have all achieved so much already that you should be proud of, such as getting into university, learning new skills, becoming more independent as well as so much more. None of these achievements were a walk in the park, and you have had to overcome many barriers to get to where you are today. We all have goals and aims that we want to achieve, and it is expected that we will face setbacks and tough periods. It is sometimes easy to lose perspective and beat ourselves up, thinking that we are doing something wrong whenever we are finding things hard. Life isn’t plain sailing, and being able to stay motivated despite the constant challenges, and thriving as a result is what will make the successes and rewards even more worthwhile. Furthermore, you can grow from the struggles and challenges that you have faced, which will serve you well in the future.

I originally wrote this blog post for Student Minds.

28 thoughts on “What to remember if you have had a tough day at university

  1. Such great advice for life here. My little boy is 6 and he really struggles with failure so we tell him mistakes make your brain grow. I am really glad you wrote this for student minds also, a focus on the wellbeing of students is always a good thing

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  2. I am so glad I have passed my student days but I recall that I did have some hard days I am sure this must be more difficult if the students are having mental issues so this article is helpful

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  3. University can be hard going, especially at the moment when no-one knows what is happening from one day to the next. Totally agree with the ‘There is always something good in every day’, applies to everything, we just need to remember that! Sim x

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  4. I’ve been there although it was a while back. University can be hard work but taking each day as it comes helps. And not every day is all bad, there is normally something good that happens.

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  5. These are some great reminders. There are always going to be some tough days at university so it is important to have something to turn to during these times.

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  6. I think it’s so important to always think of the positive in a day even if it’s something really small as every single day has some positivity we just sometimes focus too much on the negative x

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  7. Your post made me think of this song: “Relax, take it easy-MIKA”, and now I can’t stop listening to it! But, yes, I agree with you.

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  8. I think we all have good days and bad, whether its at work or university. It is important to find the good in everyday

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