Doing a placement can be a chance to explore a new city or country, meet new people, get out of education for a while, gain an insight into a new industry or career path and discover many, many, many more exciting opportunities. However, a placement year also means a brand new routine, perhaps in a place where you may not have friends or family around, which isn’t always easy to get used to and can be lonely sometimes!
Luckily, there are a couple of things that you can do – and should do – to look after your mental health whilst out on placement:
Keep in touch with Aston’s Careers+Placements team
The Careers+Placements team understand the realities of going on placement and living away from home or university for the first time. They are there to help, so if you find yourself struggling, reach out to the team by dropping them a line on firstname.lastname@example.org or find them on social media. It can really help to talk to someone.
Try something new
A year away from studying and deadlines on placement provides the ideal situation to get out and try something new in your spare time. This could be learning a new language, trying out a new sport, learning some new recipes in the kitchen and so on – a new skill is a positive move towards improving your happiness and focus whilst on placement.
Do not underestimate the benefits that keeping active can bring. Going out for a walk, doing a gym session or attending a fitness class not only has benefits for your health but is a natural mood-lifter!
Give yourself a break
Don’t burn yourself out. Placement year can be hard work and you’re entitled to a break. Make sure you schedule some downtime into your schedule to refresh every now and again!
Ultimately, placement year can take some getting used to, but following some of these techniques could really improve your mental health whilst out on placement and help you make the absolute most out of your year. But remember, if you are struggling, make sure you talk to someone rather than bottling it up.
Written by Rachael Woodroffe, C+P Associate