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No matter how experienced, everyone needs advice, help, support and even reassurance from time to time. From being ill or struggling with work to pondering a business idea or a job, there’s a person to talk to and a place to go to find the answers to your questions. As the final term begins, perhaps it would be prudent to go over the sources of support on campus, especially as exams loom.
Staying healthy, both physically and mentally, can be something of a mixed bag. There are times when no matter how well you take care of yourself, you’ll simply feel down or have a severe case of flu. Let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t bother and decide to ride out the rough with the smooth, hoping our problems will go away. However, for the times when a cough has become a chest infection, and stress is replaced by a desire for the work to disappear, the health centre on campus can be a lifesaver. On campus, we have the King Street medical practice, which not only dispenses health care but also offers a community psychiatric nurse service and sexual health drop-in sessions on Monday mornings. Lancaster University offer their own counselling and mental health service which can be accessed in the Base (and also via an online self-referral form), and wellbeing officers in each college are often available for drop-ins.
Alternatively, if academic problems arise, be it an essay that refuses to get written, or difficulty understanding course content, there are many people to whom you can turn. For general enquiries, college advisors can provide support and advice, and for specific queries or worries related to a course, academic or department advisors are there to assist. Finally, for more targeted learning support, all of the academic departments at Lancaster are covered by five Faculty Student Learning Advisors who work with the Management School, Faculties of Science and Technology, Health and Medicine, and Arts and Social Sciences.
Finances are also often an issue on people’s minds and this is no exception for students. The idea of completing university with a large debt has made people more aware of the financial implications of further education, which is why Lancaster offer support to students who are struggling with their finances. An emergency loan can be applied for (as long as a document can be obtained from a bank confirming the balance of an account), which helps to cover food and basic transport. However, this does not cover accommodation, and students in such a situation are advised to discuss this with their accommodation administrator of their college, to defer payments.
From giving money, to making it, if you find yourself struck by a brilliant business idea, or start-up, LUSU and the Lancaster University Enterprise Centre can help you along your way, providing business advice, supporting individuals and groups with start-up costs, as well as connecting students to individuals and groups that can best provide growth opportunities for a business plan! They will provide critical advice and knowledge and can be accessed through LUSU.
Of course, if enterprise isn’t your thing but you still enjoy working, then the Base have a dedicated team to uploading job vacancies via the Employment and Recruitment service, which is constantly updated, and allows students to apply for a job online, using the dedicated service. If you happen to be struggling with jobs, then a member of the team at the Base will be more than happy to provide analysis of your CV and give you advice and tips on how to land a job!
Finally, there are also services that take spiritual needs into account; the Chaplaincy Centre is a multi-faith institution that welcomes everyone of any background, and they regularly host events on campus promoting their activities. The centre also hosts alternative therapy and homeopathy treatments for students seeking alternative medicine.
The opportunities for help are numerous and the reminders of such assistance are, let’s be honest, an obligatory part of each new term, like a doting mother reminding you to just ‘make sure you stay warm outside!’ But in this writer’s opinion, I think we all need a reminder once in a while, when we get down in the dumps and begin dismissing life – there are people on campus willing to help you take new steps into your life; all you have to do is take the first step!
For details on how to access the resources noted above, see below:
The number for the King Street Practice on campus is (0)1524 387780.
The number for the Counselling and Mental Health service is (0) 1524 592 690
The number for the surgery in Lancaster is (0)1524 541651.
Faculty Student Learning Advisers
Gill Burgess and Dr Helen Hargreaves (Lancaster University Management School)
Robert Blake (Faculty of Science & Technology)
Dr Liz Hurrell (Faculty of Health & Medicine)
Joanne Wood (Faculty of Arts & Social Science)
AUTHOR’S NOTE: If you need any more details, they can be found online here http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/student-based-services/ under the side tabs.