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Where to go if you need help

Written by Eleanor Sanger, posted on Monday, October 2, 2017

Whether you're just starting at university or you've already been here a while, you're going to have some great experiences while you're here - but it might not always be plain sailing, and you're bound to have ups and downs.

It’s all very well being encouraged to go out and enjoy yourself when you arrive in Oxford, but there may be some times during your first few weeks and beyond when things seem to get a bit tough. You may find the work a bit of a shock to the system (especially after the long summer break!), you may be missing home, or you may just be taking time to get to grips with living in a new place.

These are all perfectly normal things to feel, and there is nothing wrong with feeling like this. Although there’s so much in freshers’ week, and the rest of your time in Oxford, for you to enjoy, it may be that there are parts of your time here that you find hard. But help is there when you need it, and you should make sure you look after yourself as well as enjoying everything else that your first few weeks in Oxford have to offer.

At Christ Church we have a dedicated welfare team (information available here) who are able to offer all kinds of help depending on your situation – whether your issue is emotional, medical, or financial, they’re there for you.

We have a team of trained peer supporters, other undergraduates who are there to talk to whenever you need them, or you can call Nightline from 8pm-8am from 0th to 9th week if you find yourself feeling like you need to talk things through with someone in the middle of the night: +44 (0)1865 270270.

Brain Strain Tea is held every week in the Chaplain's office, and is a good opportunity for getting out and seeing people if you’ve been stuck inside working. And there are plenty of other activities in college that you can get involved in, including Late Night Tea Break, with hot drinks and snacks as well as a selection of board games! Keep an eye on emails from welfare reps for more info.

There are also university services such as counselling available if you run into other difficulties - their website gives you plenty of information about the different kinds of help that are available so that you can work out what kind of support would be best for you. 

It’s normal to feel homesick at times – this is likely to be your first time away from home, and you may not feel like you really know anyone yet. But it will pass, and you’ll soon be throwing yourself into Oxford life with your new friends. And if you feel like you’re finding it hard to meet people who are into the same things as you, there are countless societies in Oxford that will cater for stuff you like, whether that’s salsa, sports, or coding. So take advantage of trying new things or continuing the hobbies you already love, and use it as an opportunity to meet like-minded people.

Feel free to get in touch if you’re having trouble finding out where to go for the help you need, and make sure you’re familiar with this page on our website, which lists sources of support and advice available in college.