I did my first year at a big university in another province. It was a little rough – a bit overwhelming and lonely. I learned that university really isn’t something you should experience alone.

Everyone is different, but when I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed with the sheer amount of work I have to do, I need to rant. I need a friend who is willing to listen. Some people might prefer to talk to a parent or a friend outside of university or even a counsellor, but I just need that friend who really understands what I’m going through and gives me the space to let it all out. Then I’m calm, I feel better, I have more energy, I can focus and get back to work. 

I think that’s part of why I care so much about helping other students make connections. The people I’ve met at MacEwan in clubs and in my on-campus jobs as a student assistant made a difference to me in so many ways. I want other students to have that too. I don’t want them to feel like they’re stuck going through everything on their own, the way I did in the beginning. 

I always think back to that time when I’m setting up online events on the MacEwan Discord server – games nights or hangout hours where we chat about anything and everything or Wonderful Wednesdays where we pick a movie or just talk. On the surface, maybe you’re just playing a game or chatting together, but you’re also surrounding yourself with people who are experiencing the same things you are.

And I absolutely love seeing the friendships and little communities that come from that.

– Denise King, Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy student and First-Year Experience (FYE) student assistant

Connections and supportive communities
Check out the Mental Health Week events from January 24 to 28.
Mental Health Week 2022 FIND EVENTS

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