As a student in a university (and possibly as a member of staff as well) you will be surrounded by support that only exists to support your wellbeing and success. However, as a Post-grad, you may well have to seek this support out and identify it for yourself. Many universities assume PGR students can navigate their institution by themselves and find whatever support they need.
The support that is available to you will differ depending on your institution. If you aren’t studying at your undergraduate university, then you may also find that your new university uses different names and titles for services that you used at your old institution.
It can be beneficial to map out the support that you have available for yourself. That way when you need it you have an easy guide to refer to.
The most obvious place to begin may be to identify what support is available within your university. Your supervisor might be the most obvious source of support but there may also be a graduate or research office etc. Don’t just note the names of services, note down what they do as well. For instance, if the library provides training in literature searches or a specialist subject librarian, that is useful to record.
This exercise will not only produce a helpful resource for you, just the act of completing it will ensure that you know your university better and will feel more confident in navigating it.
Next identify the support that you are bringing with you. This could be family, friends, people or resources in your workplace or places in your neighbourhood. Again, think broadly about the support you are bringing and how it can help you. If you are part of a sports team that helps you keep fit, have fun and takes your mind off work – that is a resource worth having and recording.
Finally, identify your own personal resources; the strengths, abilities and experience that you bring to being a PGR student that will help you through. You wouldn’t have reached this point without developing these strengths, so be honest with yourself. What are you good at and how will it help you?
When you’ve completed the resource put it somewhere safe and easy to access (and possibly easy to see, e.g. on a notice board). If at any point you are lost or finding things too difficult, you can refer back to it, identify support that might help and access it.