In her second year, after being diagnosed with dyslexia and dyscalculia, Tia was able to develop different and creative ways to help her study. She also committed herself to volunteering and raising awareness of mental health as a Wellbeing Ambassador.
During her final year, Tia clocked up an impressive 150 hours volunteering as a Project Leader for the Wellbeing Ambassadors programme.
“I wanted to use my own experience and struggles with mental illness to help others, whilst also trying to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health,” she said.
The pandemic has changed student life beyond recognition and one of Tia’s most memorable moments at Essex was organising one of the first on-campus, in-person events after lockdown.
“I organised an event called Wellness Day, during Mental Health Awareness Week. We ran a series of activities to promote mental wellbeing. It was the first on-campus event we were allowed to run this year so it was pretty special. I put in so many hours but all the stress was worth it, to see the smiles of our volunteers meeting each other in person for the first time, and other students enjoying all of the activities,” she said.
Tia, who is staying at Essex to complete an MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology and hopes to be a sports psychologist one day, has this advice for new students: “I made a decision based on what I wanted to do, not what my anxiety would let me do and this was the best decision I ever made! Great things won't happen in comfort zones - do what challenges you, it does get easier!”