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Before I came to Victoria I never thought much about my environment. I suppose it’s because over my life my environment had had few changes; same friends, same family, and two very small schools. However when I started at Victoria I was suddenly at a massive university with different friends and no family support.
I remember feeling panic in my first week because campus was so busy! I felt like everyone knew what was going on, where to go, and they all had someone to see. Whereas my main priority was trying to find a quiet place to sit for an hour.
The environment at Victoria can affect people differently. It’s important to evaluate what you need for your environment to be positive. For me I found that I needed quiet, small spaces, wellbeing support, tea, and friends. Everyone’s needs are different so spend time finding out what works for you. It can take time to find what you need, so be patient.
If you can’t find what works for you then create what you need! Make a few changes in your flat by adding a few houseplants, buy eco-friendly light bulbs, hang up some artwork, or plant a tree. Simple changes can make a huge difference to your environment. Or if you want to bring about a change on campus come along to the SWAT (the Student Wellbeing Awareness Team) meetings.
The people around you can also have a large impact on your environment, so spending time creating positive social connections will have a positive impact on your wellbeing. You can start by joining some of the groups on campus and meet like minded people. Or you can check out SWAT’s creating social connections week from April 19–22.