Friday 22 April 2022

The time to reflect

Tayyibah reflects on her journey since the pandemic.

- Tayyibah Hussain

Lockdown has impacted us all from the beginning of March 2020, whether positively or negatively. It has been tough for many in terms of mental health and wellbeing.

From the first lockdown to now, I've seen many opportunities to grow. Even though at times it's been tough, with support from the Early Childhood Studies staff and students here at the University of Derby, I'm doing amazing. 

Everyone who knows me knows that I have mental health struggles. I've never been comfortable talking about it. I used to hate having to speak about it or listen to anything regarding it – I’m not sure why, but I felt awful about it. I was so shy and lacked confidence and self-belief. I didn't have a lot of friends and I wasn't a very talkative person, only around the right people. I always felt judged by others and that's why I stayed quiet.  

During the first lockdown back in 2020, I struggled not being in college speaking to tutors or classmates; it was a difficult transition from college to university as I felt things wouldn't get better. During this time was when I first decided to make my mental health page @asafeplacex to just post and meet others. It really did help that I met amazing pages on Instagram like @crazyheadcomics and others. This page did help and continues to help me.  

I went on to university and I thought I'd struggle. The beginning was difficult, but I decided to become a student representative for my course to improve my confidence and communication skills. The staff at Derby University have been amazing and have helped me to have faith and self-belief – something which I'm still working on, but they have pushed and supported me. 

Throughout being a student representative and having days such as #universitymentalhealthday and #mentalhealthawarenessmonth, I helped and supported others on the course. I've completed online courses for mental health and been working on myself. I've gained so much confidence over the past 2 years alone and I've made huge progress with my confidence and communication skills.

Since last year, I've written blogs for Student Minds, and created a document full of helplines and resources for students if they are struggling or know someone is so they can share it. This year, I've also been nominated several awards: the National Diversity Awards’ Positive Role Model award, the Education Awards’ Inspirational Student award, and the Student Representative of the Year, Personality of the Year, and Biggest Representative Win of the Year awards at Derby University.

All of these things I've achieved. 3 years ago, I wouldn't have thought I'd be able to get this far. I'm forever proud of myself and thankful for everyone who has supported me throughout my journey. 

This is a sign if you are struggling things will get better and will start to improve. You aren't alone and you are cared and loved for. You matter.

Whether you are looking for support for your own mental health at university or supporting a friend, help is available.

Tayyibah Hussain is currently a student at the University of Derby studying Early Childhood Studies. She is interested in Mental Health, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and supporting others and hoping to inspire them to have self-belief and faith in themselves.

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