How to survive a break up at uni

Having to deal with the breakdown of a relationship on top of the academic strain of uni can tip people over the edge. Uni is the time for self-development and responsibility, and while this may seem frightening when you’re upset and feeling alone or unsupported in your sadness, it can also be an amazing opportunity for you to become a stronger individual and be proud of yourself once you come out the other end of the breakup. Heres how to survive a break up at Uni and some tips to help you make it through this hard time. Remember: it’s just a bad day, not a bad life, and time will heal you.

Cry as much as you want

At uni, you can sometimes feel too anxious to express yourself properly in case people find you odd or annoying, especially with housemates. It may seem easy to repress your feelings and put on a brave face so your peers don’t see you as ‘weak’, but this concern is ridiculous and obviously not the case.

Nobody will think any less of you for being sad about a breakup; everyone goes through them, and everyone understands. Be honest with people if you need to, and if you feel like you’ll look a mess at work, ask if you can be put in the stockroom or office for your next few shifts. If you’re simply too low to sit through a full lecture or seminar, let your tutor know that you might have to leave a few minutes in. Honesty is the best policy, and that includes honesty with yourself – let yourself cry if you need to, and it’ll be easier to pick yourself up once you’re ready.

Get a good support system

When something traumatic happens, it’s all too easy to go into self-destruct mode. Without your parents looking after you and being away from the familiar and comfort of home, you’re solely in charge of your actions which can be overwhelming for some. With any breakup there’s a ‘mourning period’, and during this time, it’s more than easy to get too drunk and make a fatal 4 am phone call to your ex or text that one person who you know you shouldn’t talk to.

The best way to stop this happening is to surround yourself with a positive support system, it can be either your flatmates or even if it’s just some co-workers if you’re closest friends aren’t attending your uni, find those who will sympathise with you. Although you may not feel like ‘thinking positive’, which can seem almost impossible to do so, surrounding yourself with people means that you’re more likely to be distracted from your sorrow and be looked after when you need it.

Enjoy some time away

If the breakup was a long-distance relationship breakup, then at least you can take some solace in the fact that you’re not likely to walk into them the next day (unless they’re at uni with you). There was nothing worse than being in high school, breaking up with someone, and then having to see them every second of every day after that.

Try and see your distance from home (and ex) as an opportunity to reinvent yourself: cut and dye your hair, find a new favourite coffee place, or just enjoy long walks on your own. Whatever makes you feel better and more refreshed physically and mentally is essential during this period. It’s time to learn to love yourself.

Make use of uni support if you need to

Breakups are horrible, and there are no two ways around it. It’s likely that you’ll find it harder to recover from your heartbreak than people realise and there’s no shame in seeking professional support if you feel you need it. Universities usually offer counselling services specifically for relationships, where you won’t be the first heartbroken student they’ve helped, so don’t feel like you’re wasting their time with your sadness.

Maybe you just need someone to talk to or help reassure you that the breakup wasn’t your fault – this could be a housemate, journal, or drunken stranger in a club if you don’t feel like going the professional support route.

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