Mental Health Awareness Week: Coping with grief at university
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For many people, university provides some of the happiest times of their lives. There's the feeling of living in and exploring a new city, being almost totally independent, making new friends... the list could probably go on. But sometimes a spanner is thrown in the works, and the bubble can pop. Being far away from home suddenly doesn't feel as great when a loved one passes away. When I was nearing the end of my second year of university, in fact, in March this year, my aunt died. Perhaps it doesn't sound as important as a parent, but my aunt was just that - she was like another parent. One of the most prominent figures throughout my childhood and upbringing, and one of my favourite people in the world, her passing left me feeling like I'd lost a limb. I think that tip number one, before anything else even comes into it, is to not compare your grief to that of others. Your aunty is just as important as a parent, or a cousin as important as a sibling - and if it hurts you then it hurts, you don't need to justify your relationship to this person to your tutors. Perhaps its obvious, but the first thing you should do is speak to your tutor/s or relevant figure about the issue. They can give you deadline extensions, and help you fill out forms for extenuating circumstances if you have to sit exams or submit formal assessments.
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